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Micromax is planning its own Android based OS for future products
Micromax’s range of affordable Android handsets have managed to help the company secure a substantial share of the Indian smartphone market and the company is planning to use a forked Android operating system in the future, to further differentiate itself from its competitors.
Ashish Agrawal, CTO of Micromax, states that the company is developing its own Android based operating system, which is designed to work across a range of products, including smartphones, tablets, wearables and TVs. However, Micromax doesn’t seem to want to completely reinvent the familiar Android experience, rather the company wants to tailor its software to suite the particular needs of the Indian market.
“Our (Indian) use cases are much different from a US or Chinese customer,” – Ashish Agrawal
Micromax states that it has a strong understanding of what Indian consumers are after in terms of software and believes that it can use this to differentiate itself from its competitors. However, the company is reliant on compatibility with Android apps to remain competitive and so as not to alienate its existing customers, so is building some of its own software into Android rather than creating an OS from the ground up.
Micromax has already experimented with the use of Cyanogen OS, an Android spin-off, in its Yu sub-brand of smartphones, but perhaps feels that it can achieve better results by bringing software development in house.
Other smartphone companies in China are already selling devices with their own operating systems based on Android onboard. Samsung released its first Tizen powered smartphone in the country and China’s Xiaomi has been making big gains with its range of MIUI powered devices.
As well as providing region specific features to consumers, additional services should help Micromax increase its revenue from the Indian market, where smartphone hardware profit margins are thin. The company is also likely looking to grow a larger ecosystem, which could help it retain customers in the longer term.
The forked OS is being developed by Micromax’s software team in Bengaluru. The first smartphones to use Micromax’s custom Android OS are expected to launch at the end of this financial year.