China’s No. 5 smartphone maker, Coolpad Group Ltd., will enter the Indian smartphone market on the heels of larger rival Xiaomi Inc.’s success in gobbling up market share in the subcontinent through online sales, the Economic Times in India reported Wednesday.
Coolpad has a $400 million budget to invest in foreign operations -- and a big chunk of it may be spent in India, where the company is looking to add research and manufacturing facilities, the newspaper reported, citing Varun Sharma, the head of the firm’s Indian operations.
As China’s handset market saturates and its broader economy slows down, its vendors are increasingly turning to India and Indonesia, where demand for mobile devices is rising and penetration is low. With the largest number of Facebook users outside the U.S., India has about a billion wireless subscribers, but only around 150 million smartphone owners.
The rest still use feature phones, but smartphones sales are rising in the country, with one in three phones sold at present being such a device.
Coolpad is looking to bring to the Indian market its Dazen brand of smartphones, in a range between 5,000 rupees ($78.72) and 20,000 rupees ($314.88), the Economic Times reported. This is the price range where the bulk the online smartphone sales are made in India on sites such as Flipkart.
Coolpad’s strength in 4G LTE technology could help it win customers in India, where local carriers are beginning to expand a nascent 4G market.
Among the 53.0 million mobile phones sold in India in the first quarter of this year, 19.5 million were smartphones and the rest were feature phones, the market-research firm CyberMedia Research reported in a release Wednesday.