The Pocket Surfer 2G4 is a 3.5-inch, dual SIM, EDGE network compatible smartphone running Android 4.0 Jelly Bean priced at Rs. 1,999, while Pocket Surfer 3G4 is a 4-inch, dual-SIM, dual camera, 3G network compatible smartphone running Android 4.4.2 KitKat, priced at Rs. 2,999.
The 5-inch Pocket Surfer 3G5 smartphone, priced at Rs. 5,499, has been upgraded to include a year of free Web browsing, and runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
The new range of smartphones are powered with free unlimited Internet browsing for a year on Reliance Communications (RCom) network, Datawind President and CEO Suneet Singh Tuli told PTI.
Tuli added that Datawind's patented Web delivery platform compresses data via back-end servers to speed up rendering of Web content, ideal for 2G and 3G mobile networks. The year of free, unlimited Internet browsing via the UbiSurfer browser does not include audio/ video streaming or local-downloads. The firm says users will have to purchase separate top-up plans for this.
Speaking on the launch, Suneet Singh Tuli, President & CEO, Datawind said, "We are passionate about technology and access that enables and empowers the common man to achieve more in every conceivable way. With this new range of ultra-low cost smartphones, powered with free Internet access by India's leading network, we hope to ignite a spark that will revolutionise India's movement towards achieving its grand vision of a Digital India. We see this as a beginning of a new phase in Internet revolution led by mobile Internet and we are delighted and privileged to have Reliance Communications by our side in this new transformational journey towards a Digital India."
Commenting on the partnership, Gurdeep Singh, CEO, Consumer Business, Reliance Communications said, "We are delighted to partner with Datawind and offer unlimited data for 12 months on our high-speed GSM data network, which will lead to a unique user experience on the PocketSurfer Smartphones, which sport many technological breakthroughs. A product like this one will be best experienced on a seamless IP-enabled network such as RCOM's, and will make for an unmatched data experience."
"The feature phone market is about 150 million unit a year. So, if we can convert even 3 percent of this, which is around 45-50 lakh units, it would be okay. The target that we have set is to sell 50 lakh units in next 12 months and are targeting tier II and III cities," Tulli added.
By the end of this month, the handsets will be available at 3,600 retail points and by next quarter, the company will double the number of retail outlets, he added.
As per recent industry reports, over 1.3 crores feature phones are purchased in India each month at price points below Rs. 3,000.
The tablet-maker sells nearly 50,000 UbiSlate tablets in a month.
In a commitment to 'Make in India' campaign, Tuli said: "We are pledging to ship 90 percent of our manufacturing to India within 90 days."
The firm is in discussions with contract manufacturers in India. At present, the company manufactures its devices in China, he added.
Datawind hopes to generate around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in next one year in India, Tuli said.
The company has chosen tele-shopping networks and physical retail to sell the products, as Tuli feels such networks cover 80 percent of India, while e-commerce covers just around 3 percent.
"Not only are PocketSurfer smartphones priced competitively against regular feature phones, but a year's free bundled web browsing delivers more value than even the cost of the phone," Tuli said.
With this launch, Datawind is targeting tier II and III cities of India.
The products will be available on Naaptol's TV, print and online shopping platforms starting Tuesday and from March 24, they will be available at Sangeetha Mobiles, Spice Hotspot Retail and other key modern trade and retail partners.