Intex has teamed up with California-based Mozilla, the non-profit organisation behind the Firefox open-source web browser, to create a cheaper alternative to Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy.
Intex spokesman Joyeeta Mitra said the handset, which went on sale this week, was aimed at first-time smartphone buyers and was the cheapest yet to hit the market.
"We're moving into a new era in smartphones," Mitra said. "This is a user-friendly handset that can help people get smartphones and access the internet.
"We have big expectations that this phone will find a large market and we are expect 500,000 sales in the first three months," she said adding that while the company is initially targeting the Indian market it expects to expand sales to other countries in Asia.
India's smartphone market is growing rapidly. US market research firm IDC reported shipments leapt by 186% to 17.59m smartphones in the first financial quarter to June this year compared with the same period last year.
IDC forecast that smartphone sales would continue to rocket in coming years, growing at an annual rate of 40% for the next five years.
But price is key in India, which according to the World Bank is home to one-third of the world's poor. Three-quarters of smartphone sales in India are below $200.
The Intex offering undercuts the Smart A50S, made by Indian company Karbonn, which was launched in June at 2,790 rupees ($46).
Mozilla has been teaming up in the low-cost smartphone market in the developing world with Alcatel, Huawei and LG, with a focus on Latin America.
Source: AFP via I-Net Bridge
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