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Coolpad now manufacturing in India

Chinese handset maker Coolpad said it has partnered with Videocon to assemble its handsets in India, a move aimed at helping the company garner larger share in the strongly contested Indian smartphone market.Coolpad  launched the Note 3 Lite, which is being assembled in India.

Priced at Rs 6,999, the handset will be available on e-commerce portal, through a flash model from January 28.

Equipped with a fingerprint sensor, the 4G-enabled Note 3 Lite has a 5-inch screen, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable up to 64GB), 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras and 2500mAh battery.

Coolpad, which forayed into India last year, is also looking at setting up its research and development (R&D) operations here to cater to the SAARC region.

"We have partnered Videocon to assemble our handsets in India. This will help us bring our products faster to our consumers... The plant in Aurangabad has a monthly capacity of 3 lakh units," Coolpad India CEO Syed Tajuddin told PTI.

He added that it will at least be another 1-2 years before full-fledged manufacturing will be done in India.

"The target is to produce one million Made in India phones by H1 of 2016. Initially, around 15,000-20,000 devices will be imported from China and rest will be manufactured from India," he said.

Interestingly, Videocon also has its own line of smartphones selling in the Indian market.

Asked about the cost benefits of manufacturing in India, Tajuddin said the scale of operations in the country is still not comparable to China.

"However, the costs of manufacturing in China are going up and people are looking at India as the next big destination... Manufacturing in India is giving us about 5-6 per cent benefit which we will pass on to the consumers," he said.

Recently, many international players like Xiaomi, Gionee and Asus have set up assembly units in India. Handset makers are looking to tap the multi-billion dollar opportunity in India, which is one of the fastest growing markets globally.

According to research firm IDC, shipments in India grew 21.4 percent year-on-year to 28.3 million units in the July-September 2015 quarter.

Samsung led the tally with 24 percent share, followed by Micromax (16.7 percent), Intex (10.8 percent), Lenovo Group - Lenovo and Motorola (9.5 percent) and Lava (4.7 percent).

Tajuddin said the company is eyeing five percent share of the smartphone market in India.

Coolpad is also exploring plans of setting up a R&D unit in India.

"The discussions are on (within the company). India will cater to the entire SAARC region, this is a very important market for us. The centre would provide employment to 200-300 people at least," he said.
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