India’s smartphone market is predominantly sustained by the middle class. Naturally, such a market is primarily dominated by a strict more-for-less principle. Companies such as Micromax, capitalizing on the said demand, released numerous models focusing primarily on the value segment. This led to them becoming the most popular smartphone company in India during the mid-2010s. At its peak, Micromax boasted a 22% market share in the country, offering then-new features such as 4G connectivity, dual-sim capability, fast processors, etc. It released the same at affordable prices to a market still warming up to the idea of smartphones.
However, Micromax’s market share quickly dwindled as the Chinese companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, etc. offering incredible value in terms of hardware specifications in their handsets, made a huge splash. The value proposition in Micromax’s devices (whose supply chain was based mainly in China) simply could not keep up with the incredibly aggressive Chinese newcomers, eager to establish a rock-solid foothold in the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
Since then, the geopolitical landscape has undergone drastic changes. China’s unprovoked aggression towards Indian troops at the border sparked a powerful anti-Chinese sentiment that resonates throughout a patriotic Indian populous. Nationwide protests on the streets and in social media called out for boycotting Chinese goods altogether. This alienated the popular Chinese brands from its customers. Instead, it boosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign for an ‘Atma nirbhar’ (self-reliant) India and his “Make In India” campaign. Furthermore, it provides other non-Chinese and Indian brands a perfect opportunity to capture a market eager to shift away from products, goods, and services originating in China.
Micromax is resurgent. Rahul Sharma, the co-founder of Micromax, said, “Border par jo hua, woh theek nahi hua” (What happened at the border was wrong), a clear reference to the Galwan Valley clashes between the Indian and the Chinese forces. He has emphasized the need for indigenous R&D, finding its way into products made for India. This would ensure that Indian scientific talents are better utilized in serving Indians. It would also establish a unique selling point for Micromax products in India, infringing upon which would undoubtedly challenge the Chinese giants. He also revealed that their first lineup of smartphones under the brand “INdia” would be revealed on 3rd November 2020.
Today Micromax released two new models, namely, the Micromax IN Note 1 and the IN 1b starting at 10,999 INR and 6,999 INR, respectively. It is worth noting that the Note 1 is also available with a 128 GB variant costing 12,499 INR, and the 1b is available with a 64GB + 4GB variant at 7,999 INR. Here is a specs comparison chart between the models.
|In Note 1||In Note 1||In 1B||In 1b|
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G85 (2 GHz)||MediaTek Helio G85 (2 GHz)||Mediatek Helio G35 (2.3 GHz)||MediaTek Helio G35 (2.3 GHz)|
|RAM||4 GB||4 GB||4 GB||2 GB|
|Storage||128 GB||64 GB||64 GB||32 GB|
|Display||6.67” FHD+ (1080×2400)||6.67” FHD+ (1080×2400)||6.52” HD+ (720×1600)||6.52” HD+ (720×1600)|
|Camera||48 MP Primary, 5 MP UW, 2 MP Macro, |
2 MP Depth Sensor16 MP Selfie
|48 MP Primary, 5 MP UW, 2 MP Macro, |
2 MP Depth Sensor16 MP Selfie
|13 MP Primary, 2 MP8 MP Selfie||13 MP Primary, 2 MP8 MP Selfie|
|Battery||5000 mAh||5000 mAh||5000 mAh||5000 mAh|
|Price||12,499 INR||10,999 INR||7,999 INR||6,999 INR|
Note: Even though the MediaTek Helio G35 is clocked 300 MHz higher, the G85 is still the faster CPU in single and multi-core tests. This is because the G85 integrates big.LITTLE technology, such that it has two higher-performing cores (Cortex A75) for heavy tasks and 6 lower-performing cores (Cortex A55) for lighter everyday tasks. The G35, on the other hand, only features 8 lower-performing cores (Cortex A53).
In conclusion, the budget segment with the resurgence of Micromax is undoubtedly an exciting place to be in, as it drives competition in the segment, benefitting the consumer and aids in generating the potential for indigenous R&D and manufacturing.