The Canada-based smartphone and tablet manufacturer, DataWind which had earlier partnered with RCom has sold over 4-lakh devices in the past six months. The current line-up of devices includes seven Android-based smartphones and tablets including the recently launched PocketSurfer 2G4 and PocketSurfer 3G4. The devices sold by DataWind comes with free internet access for a period of one year. Now, DataWind is again teaming up with Anil Ambani-owned RCom to launch the world’s most affordable smartphone priced at Rs. 999.
The smartphone is expected to be launched on December 28 which is the birth anniversary of Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani. Unlike the earlier launched devices which come with Android OS, the upcoming device will run on Linux-based OS. Talking about the device, Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind, said, “Our target is to bring a smartphone to Rs 1,000. The new smartphone will be a Linux variant and consumers can get 12 months free Internet browsing. He further added, “Our big focus is on network services, apps and content.
By offering the device at such a low price the company will lose some money on the hardware part and according to the company, once the devices are being used, they can make money through service offerings. Datawind’s products are primarily designed to offer the internet connectivity options based on 2G mobile-cellular infrastructure and is targeted at the first-time smartphone users who want to access data at an affordable price. Recently, the company also tied-up with service provider Telenor to offer affordable devices in six circles with 12-months free internet subscription.
DataWind currently has a production unit in Amritsar that can produce a maximum of 5000 devices per day. The company also plans to invest Rs. 200 crore for setting up two new manufacturing units in South and East India in the coming six months.With the low-cost smartphone, the users cannot experience the true power of smartphones which comes with basic specifications. There are few other affordable smartphones launched by the Indian manufacturers like Micromax Bolt Q339 and Lava Flair P1i that comes with the most basic configuration. Unlike the DataWind’s upcoming smartphone, these are priced around Rs.3,500 and comes with Android OS.