India's Indus OS Gets Bigger Than iOS
In between Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS for Indian smartphone users, a home-grown company, Indus OS, has made its presence by rapidly gaining market share.
Indus OS, the regional language mobile operating system, recently became the country’s second largest mobile OS backed by its partnership with Micromax, India’s biggest home-grown mobile manufacturer.
Recently Micromax partners with Indus OS to expands its Unite range with the launch of the Unite 4 and Unite 4 Pro smartphones with an aim to support a variety of Indian languages at the system level. When it was first launched, the target consumers were from smaller towns and semi-urban areas. The domestic handset maker wants to target the untapped non-English speaking consumers with its latest Unite series smartphones, as reported by Channel times.( Read Full Article)
Indus to partner with other local mobile brands such as Lava, Intex and Karbonn among others over the next two months.
The Mumbai based start-up is also looking to work with Chinese mobile manufacturers to widen its reach. “We are in the advance stages in our partnership talks with other mobile manufacturers like Lava, Intex, Karbonn and iBall. I expect to close it over next two months,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder and chief executive officer of Indus OS.
Indus OS is co-developing with the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity), a native text-to-speech engine embedded in the platform that allow users to operate smartphones through voice commands in their native language.The firm is targeting a user base of 100 million by 2018.
According to Counterpoint research , Indus OS had a 5.6 per cent market share in smartphones in the January to March quarter, more than double of Apple’s iOS of 2.5 per cent.
Smartphones running on Indus OS sold 1.6 million devices out of the 27 million smartphone activations in the country. Google’s Android continues to be a leader with disproportionate 83.8 per cent share. The company claimed total user base of four million.
Indus OS has its own app store, called App Bazaar, where customers download apps based on their language selection. The company is also working on a tool that would help developers to localise apps. Currently, it has 30,000 apps on the App Bazaar and targets 100,000 apps over the next one year.
So far, the company has focused on sub-Rs 10,000 category, but now it is eyeing mid-priced smartphones with companies like Xiaomi, Gionee, Vivo, Oppo and LeEco gaining prominence in India.
“We are also reaching out to Chinese smartphone companies aggressively, but it is still in very early stage,” he said.
The English speaking user base is completely saturated in India. It is just a replacement market now. The next wave of growth, according to industry experts, will come from about 350 million users who are not comfortable with English and thus have not been able to switch to smartphones.
“It is not only about Tier-II and Tier-III towns. Even in major cities, most people associate smartphones that cost between Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 with a matter of pride,” he said.
While he said the short-term focus for the company is to get more OEMs on board, the long-term vision is to create a regional ecosystem that will include OEMs, mobile operators, government as well as developers.
“We are currently working on various plans to work with operators. We are looking at how we can increase adoption for their data plans from Tier-II and Tier-III towns.”
On working with government, Deshmukh said over the next few years the company is looking at integrating Aadhaar and Unified Payment Interface in its operating system. “One of the challenges that government mobile-based services face is discovery. It is hard for users to access those. But if we integrate such services into our regional operating system, it will be easier for users to access it,” he said.
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