Datawind's $45 smartphone will come with free internet subscription in India


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After taking India by storm with its ultra low-cost tablets, DataWind has plans to do something similar with smartphones.

DataWind has announced that it will launch three 4G LTE capable phones in India around Diwali festival season next month. The smartphones will be priced between Rs 3,000 ($45) and Rs 5,000 ($75). 

The smartphones are just part of the deal as Datawind has also applied for license to become a virtual network operator. This will allow its smartphone users to surf the internet for cheap if they also buy its SIM cards.

Datawind plans to offer a data plan featuring unlimited browsing at Rs 99 ($1.5). “Moreover, we shall offer internet browsing for one year free of cost on our 4G handset,” Datawind CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli said. 

The cheapest model will carry 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The other two variants will be more powerful with one sporting 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, whereas the other topping that with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage combination. 

The company said it will make nominal profits on these phones – expecting to clock only 10 percent-margin on sales. The phones will be manufactured in company’s plants in Amritsar and Hyderabad. 

Though DataWind makes and sells phones in India, it is best known in the country for its low-cost tablets. The company’s Aakash tablet, which was launched with a partnership with Congress-led UPA government in 2011, garnered a lot of attention.

The Aakash tablet failed to materialize, but the company’s Ubislate series of tablets still sell in the country. DataWind led tablet shipments in India with 20.7 percent of the market share in Q4, 2015, according to marketing research firm IDC.



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