Karbonn Releases Its First Android Phone, A1
In the highly fragmented Indian mobile phone customer market, the importance of local manufacturers cannot be understated. Again, I listed this as one of the top things to look forward to this year: the emergence of locally manufactured, low cost and feature rich Android devices. In line with this, local manufacturer Karbonn has released its first Android handset, the A1.
The device runs Android 2.2 Froyo. Raw specs wise, it is powered by a 600 MHz processor, which is quite decent for a device like this. Its touch screen is 2.8 inches in size, but more importantly, is resistive, which can make all the difference in the user experience. The camera’s resolution is 3.2 MP, while the phone’s memory is expandable up to 32 GB. It possesses all smart phone standard connectivity options such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G. And interestingly, it also features the ability to transform itself into a Wi-Fi Hotspot! This is a sweet sweet feature for a phone that retails at just INR 6,999! Incidentally, the closest rival to the A1 is the Micromax Andro A60, another affordable feature rich phone from a local manufacturer. In fact, their specs are quite similar, with the notable difference of the A60’s touch screen not being resistive.
Make no mistake about it, the presence of these local manufacturers with their typical low cost and feature rich offerings can turn out to be a game changer, especially in terms of sales volumes and affordability. Either ways, it at least makes the Android even more affordable. The days may not be far away when we see rickshaw-walas with Android handsets! Meanwhile, Karbonn has also mentioned that they want to invest around five million US dollars on the marketing and advertising of these smartphones. Apart from the A1, the company is also going to release three more similar Android devices.