Alcatel OneTouch’s newly released, sub-$150 Flash 2. Alcatel OneTouch
Last Thursday Alcatel OneTouch released the camera-centric Flash 2 phone in India, but it looks like that’s not all the company has in store for the region.
The handset maker, owned by Hong Kong’s TCL Communications, is strongly considering manufacturing its devices in India, according to news agency the Press Trust of India.
“India is a strategic market for us. It is the top market in the South East Asia region,” Alcatel Flash General Manager Albert Wong told PTI. “We are evaluating whether we should manufacture here.”
Densely populated India has a relatively unsaturated smartphone market, making it one of the world’s most important regions for smartphone companies. Sales in the second quarter of this year shot up 44 percent from the same period a year ago, according to research firm to IDC.
Meanwhile, smartphone markets in the United States and China are both nearing saturation. ComScore research shows that more than 75 percent of the US population owns a smartphone, and researcher Gartner said that the second quarter of 2015 saw smartphone sales drop for the first time ever in China.
Alcatel OneTouch would be the latest in a list of companies that have started manufacturing operations in India. It would join Samsung and HTC, which make their own smartphones, as well as brands like Motorola and Xiaomi, which have partnered with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and iPhone maker Foxconn to craft their devices.
Wong added that though nothing has been finalised, it’s likely the company will follow the lead of Xiaomi and Motorola and partner with a third-party OEM to assemble its handsets rather than manufacture them itself, according to PTI.
In addition to setting up shop at the heart of an emerging market, these companies are also taking advantage of the Make In India initiative, which offers incentives for foreign transnational organisations to invest in the country.
The Flash 2 will retail for 9, 299 rupees ($145, AU $200, £90), putting it in direct competition with Xiaomi’s similarly priced Redmi budget line, Asus’ ZenFone 2 range and devices by local brand Micromax.