China-based Huawei, in a bid to expand its presence in India, will be manufacturing smartphones at its Chennai facility in addition to the networking equipment it currently manufactures there, as per a report by the Financial Chronicle. The company is in plans to spread its reach to over 200 cities and 20,000 outlets over the course of the next three years. Currently, Huawei is present in 35 cities and 2,500 outlets across the country. Victor Shan, president of Huawei India’s device business department, said that the company is carrying out quality evaluations at the moment, and is also looking to solve supply chain issues. At the moment, the company manufactures its smartphones in China and outsources some of the process to Foxconn.
To manufacture smartphones in Chennai
Shan opined that the country is a vast market for mobile devices and that there is a ready market here for all devices, ranging from feature phones to smartphones. He added, “Low-level feature phones are preferred in rural areas while smartphones are preferred in Tier I and Tier II cities.” Tier I cities in the country account for 60 percent of all smartphone sales, while Tier II cities account for the rest. Shan added that the greatest demand was found to be for what he calls “smartphone look-alike” devices. These phones fall between the Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 10,000 bracket and account for 80 percent of company's mobile phone sales. He was quoted as saying, “We expect our handsets business to contribute 30 percent of overall revenue this year.” Reportedly, the company expects to sell one million smartphones this year and three to four million ‘look-alike’ phones.
The company was in the news recently with the official launch of the Huawei E355 Data Card in India. It is the world's first data card with Wi-Fi support for up to five devices. The Huawei E355 Wi-Fi modem functions both as a data card for a single users and as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, which can simultaneously connect up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices, allowing users to enjoy internet connectivity anytime, anywhere.
Huawei launched the world’s first plug-and-link 3G data card, the HiLink E303Cs, in July this year. The card automatically connects users to the Internet in as little as 15 seconds after the data card is inserted into a USB port, leaving out tedious dial-up processes, driver installation or manual configuration. This is up to 75 percent faster than products currently on the market.