Korean handset giant Samsung today launched a new series of 'smart' feature phones with a price tag of Rs 4,000-6,500, taking rival Nokia's Asha series of smartphones head on.
"Feature phones comprise almost 70 per cent of the sales and represents a large opportunity for mobile handset makers, especially in emerging markets. Of this, 10 per cent is the Rs 4,000-6,000 range.
"We are targetting users who are looking for social networking, games and surfing Internet on phones in affordable price range," Samsung Vice President Asim Warsi told reporters.
In a span of just 12 months, Nokia has launched 12 Asha devices in India in the range of Rs 3,500-8,500. It sold 16 million Asha Smartphones in last two quarters of 2012.
Samsung's four devices -- Rex 60 (Rs 4,280), Rex 70 (Rs 4,570), Rex 80 (Rs 5,270) and Rex 90 (Rs 6,490) -- will be available in the market next week onwards.
A smartphone is a mobile phone built on a operating system with more advanced computing capability as compared to a feature phone.
Rex phones are dual SIM touchscreen phones and run on Java platform. The devices come pre-loaded with a number of apps like Facebook, messengers like ChatON and GTalk and mobile browser Opera.
However, none of the phones support 3G connectivity.
"The entire 'smart' feature phone series has been developed in India, for Indian consumers. The phones will be also taken to markets like China, Middle-East, Africa, South America and CIS countries," he said.
According to CyberMedia Research, total mobile shipments in India stood at 102.43 million units in January-June 2012 period, while smartphone sales stood at 5.50 million units.
"We want the feature phones user to upgrade to smartphones by offering them smartphone like features at compelling prices," Warsi said.
Samsung Electronics President & CEO (South West Asia HQ) B D Park said, "The REX series will allow us to connect with the huge base of young Indians who are looking for smart solutions as it is packed with content and applications."
Samsung has partnered with Tata Docomo to offer various data packages to consumers.