Thursday, 16 November 2017

After feature phone, Jio now eyes cheapest smartphone

NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm is readying a lowcost 4G smartphone, said the chairman of Chinese chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications, which is in talks to supply components for the handset. The Shanghai-headquartered company will supply chips for 10 million 4G featurephones by the end of the year that Leo Li said the telco will sell in India. Spreadtrum is also looking to partner local handset makers for enabling design in India, but is unhappy with them for ceding market share to Chinese players, Li, who is also its chief executive, told ET. Li isn’t pleased also with the progress of Indian handset maker Micromax, where his company had invested $10 million for a small stake in 2012. “Jio is looking at the lowest-costing smartphone possible, maybe 4-inch screen, and the lowest-possiblecosting 4G featurephones as well,” Li said in an interaction during his week-long visit to India. Jio didn’t respond till press time Tuesday to an email seeking comment. Spreadtrum considers India as the most important market globally, given the volume of featurephones and the massive push behind the segment by Jio’s parent, Reliance Industries. “They’re (Jio) the only ones pushing featurephones this hard. We work very closely with Jio, we provide...

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