Micromax launches Dual 5 smartphone, eyes 10% premium segment share

Micromax says the Dual 5 smartphone will be followed by Dual 3 and Dual 2 in the next few months


Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma is expecting a muted revenue growth in the handset segment for the year ended March 2017. File photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint
Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma is expecting a muted revenue growth in the handset segment for the year ended March 2017. File photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: Micromax Informatics Ltd on Wednesday launched the Dual 5 mobile phone series, hoping to win 10% share of the premium category in 12 months.

The company defines premium segment as the Rs20,000-Rs 40,000 price range of smartphones. The Dual 5, which was introduced on Wednesday, will be followed by Dual 3 and Dual 2 in the next few months. These phones will cost Rs10,000-35,000.

Micromax, which held back handset launches and aggressive marketing in the last two quarters, expects to introduce four to five new phones in the premium segment over the next three months, said co-founder of Micromax, Rahul Sharma, in an interview.

“We chose to be less aggressive and take a step back…you have to say no at times to focus on long term growth rather than short term. We wanted to stay away from the aggressive discounting in the market and then demonetization happened and we decided to postpone our product releases,” Sharma added.

According to Sharma, there is much more sanity in the market now with respect to pricing. “We did not want to sell our products at losses like our Chinese counterparts were doing. Now, with one Chinese company already struggling in the Indian market and others revisiting their pricing strategy, we want to get back and reclaim our position,” Sharma added.

Earlier this month, Chinese firm LeEco trimmed its operations in the country raising concerns about its business in India.

Chinese handset makers are increasingly dominating the Indian smartphone market by offering phones with better specifications at low prices. According to research firm IDC, the fourth quarter of 2016 was the first quarter where no Indian phone maker was seen in the top five list of smartphone companies by marketshare.

Micromax has lost significant market share during the last two quarters and slipped to the number six position in the smartphone market, according to Q4 2016 smart phone shipment data by IDC.

In the fourth quarter, Samsung dominated with 25.1% market share followed by Xiaomi 10.7%, Lenovo 9.9%, Oppo 8.6% and Vivo 7.6%, pushing Micromax to a sixth position, according to the quarterly mobile phone tracker report by IDC.

However, Micromax expects 20-25% growth in revenues for the year ended March 2018 on the back of new product launches under the Micromax and Yu brands. The company did not reveal the revenue it is expecting for the year ended March 2017.

Sharma is expecting a muted revenue growth in the handset segment for the year ended March 2017. Handsets currently contribute over 70% of company’s overall business. However, the company saw growth in consumer durable segments such as televisions and air conditioners, said Sharma.

With its Dual 5 series, Micromax also expects its average selling price to go up to Rs8,000 – Rs9,000 this year from last year’s Rs5,670.

Micromax increased its number of service centres to 1,000 from 700 last year. The company currently has three manufacturing plants across Rudrapur, Telangana and Bhiwadi with a capacity of five million every month. The company expects to provide employment to 3,000-3,500 people per factory over the course of next 12 months, it said.

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