02/10/2012

Exclusive: Truth behind Indian manufacturers's low cost Android Devices

Ninja 3.5

Recently, Micromax added Ninja 3.5 aka A57 to its present Android lineup. Micromax is a busy company and it's on a launching spree. Like Micromax, companies like Spice, Karbonn, Intex and iBall are bringing out new Android models every week at really jawdropping prices. After having a look at the specs of the device, I was forced to wonder about the value-for-money factor.


Seriously, how many examples can you give me where you're getting a killer combination of 3.5 inch capacitive screen and a 1 GHz processor at a dirt cheap price of INR 4,800 or $90? For a quick comparison, Amazon Kindle Fire costs Amazon a whopping $201.70 (though it sold it for $199). And as our local manufacturers don't have any revenue system as Amazon has, it's not possible that they wil be selling it at a loss. S, how are they making profits? How are they manufacturing devices at such cheap prices?

The answer can be really shocking if you don't already know it.
ChIndian Devices                      Click on the image to zoom.

Yes, as you can see from the table, most of the smartphones sold by local Indian Manufacturers are rebranded versions of some unheard Chinese manufacturers. ChIndian devices, one may call them. Dell is also appearing in the list, though it sells rebranded devices of ZTE company, which , though Chinese, is a reputable company in this segment. In the chinese manufacturers list, Huawei and Lenovo also make an appearance, another two Chinese companies which can be trusted. Apart from them, I don't think you have ever heard of K-Touch or Cellon or Ployer or Wolfgang.

You can view the data I've collected, as a webpage or as an excel spreadsheet too. The list I've prepared might help you get some more support for your device online if you're a not-so-proud owner of any of these rebranded dirt cheap devices.

Picture Gallery:


Huawei Ideos X6 rebranded as Spice Mi 410




ZTE Blade rebranded as Dell XCD35
Cellon C8093 rebranded as Spice Mi 310
ZTE Racer rebranded as Dell XCD28
Lenovo A60 rebranded as Spice Mi 350
This list is ,for sure, incomplete. I shall try to update this list with other rebranded phones I come to hear of. My purpose behind this article is not to discourage you from buying these phones, but just to make you aware that what you're buying may be a really cheap Chinese rebranded phone.

The increased price at which the Indian manufacturers are selling it may be somewhat justified by the service support they provide. But the major drawback I find in buying such a phone is that they rarely receive updates from the seller. And as these devices aren't mcuh popular, you are unlikely to find a choice of custom ROMs on developer sites like XDA.

Let's conclude the article: If you're tight on budget and still want to taste an Android, then there is no reason you shouldn't be buying these rebranded phones. Given the low prices tags they come with, you just can't expect the same quality from them as other reputed brands provide, often charging you more than double for that. They will get through at least 1 year. (Mine is Cellon C8093, it's been with me for one and a half year, but still no major fault.)
Another reason you might prefer these ChIndian devices which cost you "chindi" is that Android world is moving at such rapid speeds, and if you want to catch up then it's wise to get a cheap mobile, dispose it after some time and grab a new one which will come with better hardware and an updated Android version. Though, I would like the companies to be more clear on this topic and they should at least arrange and release kernel source for these devices so that some development on these devices can be made.

P.S. Chindi means something cheap in Hindi. The Micromax Ninja 3.5 is actually Coolpad A7019 (forgot to add that in the list).
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