Obi mobiles, the Smartphone unit of Inflexionpoint, with Apple’s Ex-Ceo John Scully at the helms is now official. In India, Ajay Sharma, Ex marketing head of Micromax will lead the operations.
The company aims to invest 20 million in India this year and become profitable after first 5 months, during which it expects to ship 1 million smartphones. Obi mobile will first target budget smartphones in the range of 5,000 INR to 8,000 INR. With most pre existing phones in this segment offering more or less the same hardware and experience, it will be hard for Obi to differentiate itself.
The smartphones will be manufactured in China by Singapore’s Dragon Technology, another company acquired by Inflexionpoint. Inflexionpoint has already invested about $100 million in acquiring both Iris Computers and Dragon Technology. After India, the company plans on expanding its operations to Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America.
On the occasion of the launch Sculley stated,”The Indian economy is seeing a radical shift since the last decade; the emergence of the knowledge economy has created a large services sector. I see a huge opportunity in fulfilling the requirements of growing and prospering middle class. India leads in mobile phone penetration. However owing to the delay in implementation of 3G services and high smartphone prices, the smartphone share in India is only 20%, leaving larger part of the ground with opportunities yet to be tapped. The scenario hence becomes a favourable and attractive chance for us to launch Obi Mobiles and offer the best of the smartphone with an apt pricing model.”
If Obi succeeds in providing a Moto G kind of game changer in this price range, everyone will be a winner. With names like John Scully and Ajay Sharma on the list, we expect some clever marketing and durable product. The first Obi Smartphone will be launched in India Next Month. Let’s wait and watch.