Spice Mobility is set to make a comeback into the cluttered Indian mobile phone market, this time in partnership with China’s Transsion.
Spice has formed a joint venture with Transsion to sell feature and smartphones in India. Starting next month, about 10 devices will be launched over the next six months. “We have formed a joint venture with Transsion and over the next few weeks, we will be exploring various strategic opportunities in terms of manufacturing and distribution of phones in India,” Spice Mobility Executive Chairman Dilip Modi told PTI.
He added that about 10 handsets will be launched in six months in the sub-Rs 10,000 price range. Modi declined to comment on shareholding details of the JV and the investments that would be made. Interestingly, Transsion already operates ‘itel’ and ‘Tecno’ brands for selling feature and smartphones, respectively, in India.
“We have a multi-brand strategy. For us, India is one of the top priority markets. We will focus on delivering high quality products to customers. We don’t see our other brands being impacted by the addition of ‘Spice’,” Transsion Holdings Vice-President Lin Qin said. China-based Transsion Holdings is present in 58 countries globally. Apart from itel and Tecno, its brand portfolio also comprises Infinix, Carlcare (after-sales services), Oraimo (mobile accessories) and Syinix for home appliances.
Spice, till last year, had a portfolio of mobile phones. It also had a manufacturing unit in Himachal Pradesh. However, under the partnership with Transsion, Spice will move to contract manufacturing. “We will move to third-party manufacturing after we achieve a certain scale and then, explore the possibility of setting up our own manufacturing facility. India could become a global manufacturing hub for Transsion,” Modi said.
India is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets globally. While feature phones sales have been growing at a slow pace, that of smartphones have grown at a faster speed on the back of rising consumption and falling data prices. Besides, a huge number of feature phone users are also migrating to smartphones and seeking affordable devices. Some of the leading players in the Indian market include Samsung, Lenovo (and Motorola), Micromax, Vivo and Lava.