The new Windows Phone 8 manufacturer... that you've probably never heard of

Strategy Analytics says they're the 12th largest handset manufacturer in the world. They don't only build feature phones, but also a range of Android smartphones and tablets, as well as mobile data products, audio players and even televisions. 

And yet, there's a good chance you still have no idea who we're referring to here. The company is Micromax, India's second largest smartphone vendor, and they're preparing a major expansion plan that they hope will double their revenues by the 2014 fiscal year, after already exceeding its total revenues for 2012-13 in the first half of this fiscal year alone. 

The company says that it's on track to grab an impressive 25% share of the vast and rapidly growing Indian smartphone market. Central to its expansion plans is the development of well-specified but aggressively priced Android handsets.

WMPowerUser notes that, this week, the company launched its flagship Canvas 4 handset (shown below), featuring a 5-inch IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass, HD (1280x720px) resolution, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 2000mAh battery, all in a 9mm-thick anodized aluminium body with Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean - all for the equivalent of $295 USD (€230 EUR / £199 GBP).

But the company is looking beyond its Android roots, as Light Reading India reports that the company has committed to bringing Windows Phone 8 devices to its customers, although exact time frames for those products remain unclear. However, Micromax is working on 4G smartphones and dongles, as the country's mobile carriers prepare to launch their fourth-generation networks, so India may soon see some home-grown Windows Phones featuring 4G connectivity on sale there. 

The company's operations aren't confined to India, with its devices also on sale in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, emerging markets critical to Nokia's Windows Phone strategy, as it seeks to generate high-volume sales of its affordable entry-level handsets such as the Lumia 520.

If Micromax is able to price its Windows Phones as aggressively as its Android range, Nokia could have quite a fight on its hands in those markets, and perhaps even beyond. Micromax says that it is "reaching out to the global frontiers with innovative products that challenge the status quo that innovation comes with a price". 

Micromax will be joining a pretty short list of existing Windows Phone 8 manufacturers - in addition to Nokia, only HTC, Samsung and Huawei have launched handsets with Microsoft's current mobile OS, although an executive from LG India revealed last week that the company plans to return to Windows Phone, with a device already in development.

Source: Light Reading India via WMPowerUser | Images via Micromax

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19 Comments

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seriously doubt they manufacture their products. mostly likely re-labeled and re-branded from those made-in-china.

From what I have seen, the devices are manufactured in China like any other OEM. Only Nokia and Samsung manufacture some select devices in India which they sell only in India. Manufacturing labour cost is relatively higher in India than its neighbouring countries.

Looking forward seeing their Windows Phone lineups to compete with Nokia. Competition is needed in the Windows Phone ecosystem. I hope it's not a recycled Android model that's showed above or it will fail. Unique design = win win.

sn0wbl1tz said,
Looking forward seeing their Windows Phone lineups to compete with Nokia. Competition is needed in the Windows Phone ecosystem. I hope it's not a recycled Android model that's showed above or it will fail. Unique design = win win.

They can't, believe me. They make shitly designed phones with a shittier hardware quality. It would be a disaster for my Windows Phone love if they enter its market.

Believe me they are giving a serious competition to Samsung in India and are literally killing it. Their phones have almost the same specs as high end Galaxy phones at nearly half the price plus their devices run stock Android OS I think.

They are strong competition for Samsung, and they do offer almost completely stock Jelly Bean, but they do not have the same specifications as high-end phones. Not even close. Don't go by just the marketing language; quad-core, HD display, etc. There is a world of a difference between a Galaxy S III quad-core and a Micromax quad-core.

Not sure how much they could do for Windows Phone but its smart to differentiate. I guess its stil easier then breaking through in te saturated Android market. But I would rather see another big name join WP.

The problem right now is that with only a couple of OEMs there isn't a new release each quarter. At least not within each pricerange. So potential buyers who are interested in a new model see that they have to get a model that is more then three months old. Nokia sees this and tries to push something new as much as possible but there is only so much they can do.

This slows down growth and actually results in decreased marketshare in a slow quarter.

Also, the fact that Nokia is stupid and is exclusive to AT&T (at least when concerning the US Market) doesn't help them gain more marketshare.

They have recently released the Lumia 925 on Verizon, that is true, but that is a Year Old phone now. The flagships they release are exclusive to AT&T, and it seems it won't be any different w/ the EOS that is coming out.

greensabath said,
Also, the fact that Nokia is stupid and is exclusive to AT&T (at least when concerning the US Market) doesn't help them gain more marketshare.

They have recently released the Lumia 925 on Verizon, that is true, but that is a Year Old phone now. The flagships they release are exclusive to AT&T, and it seems it won't be any different w/ the EOS that is coming out.


The iPhone was exclusive to AT&T for nearly four years. That didn't work out too badly for them. I agree that it would be nice to see them launch new devices across different carriers, but the 925 and 928 are great devices.

That being said, I'm not so confident people will like these Nokia phones with high-end cameras as long as they have a camera hump in the back. Most people want thin phones with huge screens. Basically a 920, which also happens to have an excellent camera. They really should have just brought a thin, flat, injection-mold polycarbonate phone to Verizon like the 920. That aluminum looks like it will dent when dropped. And the wide variety of colors really help sell the phones. They accent the Windows Phone live tiles well.

The iphone is an exception. Apple is able to make itself out to be the great and powerful and people lined up for the first iphone in droves. Apple had the bargaining power w/ its iphone lineup because it was also the first company to put the CONSUMER first. Unlike MS/Blackberry/etc (with having Windows Mobile as long as it did), it focused on Businesses and not the consumer market.

Nokia is not in the same position as Apple was with the iPhone. There is tons of competition in the consumer space now. Nokia should be following the rule of trying to get the phone on every network possible b/c it gives them a bigger pool to pull from. They now have finally come out on Verizon, which will help, but I think they would have had much bigger success if they would have been available on all networks from the get-go w/ the Lumia 920. That phone got iphone level buzz when it was released, but was locked to AT&T only.

That being said, I think the EOS phone is a great device, and if they market it as basically a TRUE replacement for your point-and-shoot, they may sell alot. I don't think the camera bump will be too much of an issue for people. I'm actually impressed with how small the bump is, b/c I would have thought it would have been bigger.

They have a history of coming out with cheap rip offs. I for one am not really thrilled with them entering the WP space. As much as I'd like more OEMs to take up WP, Micromax is not one of them.

hipporama said,
They have a history of coming out with cheap rip offs. I for one am not really thrilled with them entering the WP space. As much as I'd like more OEMs to take up WP, Micromax is not one of them.

I can understand the feeling - how much of Window's bad rep comes from bad OEM's? I do wonder if MS will hold them to the normal quality standards, or will ease off on it due to their region/size? One of the things I like about WP is the whole licensing process, after all.