Device innovation dips to zero at Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 and Xolo Tab

Indian mobile market – smartphones and tablets – are flooding with several devices without much innovation.

A number of companies are continuing to copy some of the established smartphones and rake in money from cost sensitive Indians.

These Indian phone and tablet makers – the recently launched Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 and Xolo Tab for example — never tried to bring innovation in their new products. Both Micromax and Xolo may be selling their new devices thanks to cost advantage to Indian mobile users.

Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 is enhanced version of the company’s Canvas 4. Xolo Tab specifications can be seen in any other similar or slightly higher priced tablets. Profit margins have started to take toll on such device makers’ product innovation initiatives.

Xolo Tab and Doodle 2

Samsung, which has strengthened its smartphone presence through Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 mini, Galaxy Zomm, is spending more funds on promotion than R&D in 2013.

If cash rich Samsung and Apple carry full page advertisements and do 360 degree promotion, Micromax and Xolo will be forced to follow foreign brands to promote their smartphones and tablet in a better way.

“Both promotion and product development cannot be done significantly if these companies are not selling in huge volumes,” said a mobile industry analyst who wish not to be named.

However, a section of the Indian industry says these marketing companies (they do not produce phones) will continue to thrive in India as bigger brands are unable to address the aspirations of Indians who are looking for cost effective Samsung S4 and iPhone 5.

In this market, Nokia Lumia succeeded thanks to its desire to bring Lumia range at different price points. At the same time, BlackBerry 10 phones did not click due to lack of phones for majority of Indian users. Due to the same reason, Apple will be launching iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C in China with a press meet on 11 September – for the first time for Apple — there and not in India.

Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2

Micromax wants to become the #1 smartphone maker by overtaking Samsung in India. But its focus on new product development efforts has taken a beating.

The live example is the recent launch of Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 that is currently available for a price of Rs 19,999. Since Micromax co-founder Rajesh Agarwal, who resigned as the managing director, is in the CBI custody due to alleged bribery allegations, the company did not celebrate much.

But the Indian phone users — who are waiting for a 5-10 percent price increase for the much awaited smartphones due to rupee erosion — are seeing less value addition at Canvas Doodle 2 that is available slightly above the price of Canvas 4.

With a target of launching 30 phones this year, the #2 smartphone maker did not do enough product innovation (not product enhancement) to Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2. Users — we spoke last week — says Micromax A240 Canvas Doodle 2 is the new version of Canvas 4.

Usually, overseas phone makers — Nokia and Samsung — bring this kind of value addition under the same brand. For instance, Samsung Galaxy S4 has Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom with a better camera and some other innovation. But the Korean phone major did not give a new name.

Indian phone users would have been more happy if Micromax had given Canvas 4 – 1, Canvas 4 – 2, etc. The Indian phone maker is already facing huge penalty from Ericsson for misusing phone IPRs. It needs to innovate — beyond relying on Google Android and adding better camera and processor — when it aims for smartphone crown in India.

“At Micromax, we always strive to bring to life affordable innovation through our devices. Canvas Doodle 2 further builds our promise to empower our consumers with devices which help them express their imagination and creativity with their smartphone like never before. This is complemented by an entire eco-system of applications and latest software,” said Shubhodip Pal, CMO of Micromax, recently.

The same way, we will be surprised to see specifications of Xolo Tab priced at Rs 13,499. 20.32 cm (8) IPS Display; 3G video calling; Snapdragon 1.2 GHz quad-core processor; Adreno 203 GPU; 1 GB RAM; 4000 mAh Li-pol battery; Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2; Wi-Fi; A-GPS; etc.

Innovation will create differentiation to Indian phone makers who can go abroad and sell abroad – including developed markets.

Baburajan K
[email protected]