Monday, 9 January 2017

Government asks Indian smartphone makers to make sub-Rs. 2,000 handset

In a bid to boost digital transaction, Indian Government has asked local manufacturer to launch sub-Rs. 2,000 smartphones in the country to reach the rural population. The government is asking local smartphone manufacturers including Micromax, Lava, Intex and Karbonn to manufacture affordable low-cost smartphone to bring electronic transactions to the masses.

Economic Times citing sources related to the matter states that currently only local manufacturers have been approached for the project. However, Micromax, Lava, Intex and Karbonn are yet to announce their plans to launch sub-Rs. 2,000 smartphones.

The report also says that the government's aim is to allow transaction for all Indians from anywhere. For this the government is pushing smartphone manufacturers to launch 20 to 25 million handsets into the market, and has ruled out subsidy for the initiative. Instead companies will have to come up with solutions to bring the cost of the smartphone down. 

For the current government, Mobile payment system is a key for digital shift. Recently, the government launched BHIM (Bharath Interface for Money) app, a platform for digital transaction, that connects 31 major banks using UPI. It has been downloaded more than one million times.

Currently in India, 3G smartphones are available for as low as around Rs. 2,500, while 4G smartphones starts at Rs. 4,000.

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