Indian handset maker Micromax today expanded its partnership with MediaTek, a fabless semiconductor design firm, with the goal of bringing down the price of smartphones and accelerating the uptake of LTE services as the country’s operators start to roll out 4G networks.
Micromax plans to be the first in India to use the chipmaker’s Heilo X10 processor in its next generation of premium smartphones. MediaTek recently released the Helio series of premium smartphone chipsets.
Micromax also has launched the Canvas Fire 4G, which runs on MediaTek’s MT6735 processor. The model is part of the Indian vendor’s Fire series, which it says is custom built for music lovers.
“India is at the cusp of a digital revolution, and we have been putting in concerted efforts to bring the best-in-class LTE smartphones to take internet usage to an unprecedented level,” said Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja.
He suggested the firm will lead 4G adoption in the country by converting all its Canvas series models to 4G. “The Canvas Fire 4G is the first in a series of such launches.”
Its move to the premium segment reflects changes in consumer sentiment.
A survey commissioned by MediaTek found that rather than focusing on brand and price, the main considerations for consumers buying a smartphone in India are battery life, processor speed and multimedia features.
“India is the next LTE smartphone battleground and key to MediaTek’s mission to power billions of devices globally,” said Finbarr Moynihan, MediaTek’s general manager of sales.
Strategy Analytics predicts India will overtake Japan in 2017 to become the world’s 3rd largest LTE market. The country is also on track to surpass the US the same year as the world’s second largest smartphone market.