Reliance Communications will launch a 7 inch, Android 2.3 based tablet by November in India for Rs 13,000. The tablet will be manufactured by Hong Kong based Coolpad Communications, which is also planning to launch 15 other phones and tablets in the next one year in India.
Talking to The Mobile Indian, Sami Al Lawati, managing director of Coolpad Communications, said, “We see a lot of potential in the CDMA network as far as data usage is concerned. We are therefore focused on CDMA handsets. We will launch 15 handsets in the next 12 months to cater to this market.”
However, he did not reveal details of the tablet. When asked about the brand building effort, he said, “We are not a mass market brand, so we will not use mass media for promotions. We are hiring executives who will be placed at each Reliance store so that they can help people buy the best Coolpad devices, use them properly and address any repair needs. We want people to be assured that they will get the right support with Coolpad phones and know about our brand by seeing our products.”
Al Lawati also said that there is a need for dual mode devices in India. “We have seen that CDMA has attracted a lot of data users through CDMA dongles. Users who want to carry the same data experience on their handsets will have the option of our EVDO (high speed CDMA) phones which will also support GSM SIMs so that they can use it for calling and SMS, and keep EVDO for data,” Al Lawati explained.
The company is also in talks with Tata Indicom and MTS (other CDMA players in India) for a potential partnership. “We are in touch with all the three CDMA operators in the country and we will introduce open market handsets (not locked to one network, also called OMH). We believe that OMH handsets are beneficial for all CDMA players as the biggest problem with CDMA is the lack of devices. We will address this issue by launching more and more phones in the market,” said Al Lawati.
He added, “We are also looking at partnerships with other operators.”
Although Coolpad has aggressive plans, the company needs to work on building its brand image more than is competitors do as it is currently considered a typical low cost Chinese manufacturer with shady quality standards.