According to a Press Trust of India (PTI) report, domestic handset maker Micromax will launch four 4G smartphones in India for the festive season. The company has partnered with Google to preload the latter’s video calling app, Duo, on these smartphones.
These budget smartphones will be priced under $100, and the ‘video series’ will help users discover video calling with Duo.
“Video calling is perceived to be a very urban phenomenon and niche but at Micromax, we believe that there is a huge potential to massify the service by taking it beyond the tier 1 markets where Micromax has an unmatched edge,” Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.
According to research firm IDC, 15.4 million 4G smartphones were shipped in January-March 2016 quarter – a growth of more than six times over the same period last year. Sales of 4G smartphones have grown significantly in India as operators expand their high-speed Internet services (4G-LTE) networks in the country.
The Duo app, first announced by Google at its I/O developer conference earlier this year, was launched last month for Android and iOS users and aims to compete against apps like FaceTime and Skype by offering seamless, one-to-one video calling. It allows users to connect using their phone numbers without the need for a separate account.
Google claims that Duo has been built to be fast and reliable, so that video calls connect quickly and work well even on slower networks – something that is relevant for the Indian market. Within the first month, Duo saw over 10 million downloads with US and India being the top countries in terms of downloads. However, 5 million of these downloads were in the first week, implying the buzz tapering off after the launch.