The Indian market is destined to see a $30 (or cheaper) smartphone soon, with all the forces working on making this happen.
To reach India’s one billion people who still don’t have a smartphone, the government has reached out to phone makers to build smartphones that cost less than Rs 2,000 ($29.3).
The government officials recently met homegrown smartphone manufacturers including Micromax, Intex, Lava, and Karbonn to talk about the further lowering the price tag of smartphones, Economic Times reports.
With smartphones dropping below $30 price bracket, more people in India will be able to afford it, the government believes, hoping that this would boost the penetration of mobile wallet and other epayment solutions in the country, according to the report.
“The government has begun enabling digital transactions, which are growing exponentially now, but they realise that there aren’t that many low-cost smartphones in the market,” an official was cited as saying.
The sentiment echoes remarks of Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who last week expressed the need for a $30 smartphone for the Indian smartphone market.
Pichai added that only after manufacturers begin exploring the $30 smartphone that they will be able to discover many other breakthroughs.
The home of the second biggest smartphone market, India currently has over 260 million smartphone users, according to research firm Counterpoint. Unlike several western markets, smartphones are not subsidized by carriers and are sold separately.
The Indian government wants local manufacturers to push as many as 20 to 25 million smartphones in the market soon. How these companies will lower the price remains a mystery, with the government reportedly not offering subsidy on smartphones.
India invalidated much of its cash in November last year. In the aftermath, Indians are increasingly resorting to digital payment solutions. But the shortage of smartphones is limiting the reach of epayment solutions.