Intex to launch smartophones with new software on Snapdeal

Shanghai, July 16 (IANS) Indian smartphone manufacturer Intex Technologies said on Thursday it will soon launch, exclusively on the e-commerce platform Snapdeal, phones that will run on the new Sailfish operating system 2.0 that is currently used by Finland’s Jolla.

The new association will make Intex the first smartphone company other than Jolla, which owns the operating system, to produce smartphones on the Sailfish platform, Intex officials said here.

According to Jolla, the partnership is a part of the company’s new regional strategy which it has adopted to spread itself in different parts of the world.

It also said that their strategy in India was also in synchronization with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ initiative which looks at revolutionizing mobile services revolution, mobile commerce, payments and mobile banking.

Sailfish operating system differentiates itself as an operating system which uses a gesture and swipe based user interface to enable consumers to operate smartphones with just one hand.

The new phones, that will be manufactured by Intex, will also come with a Sailfish store for apps which will be India-specific. Although the native app store will have a few thousand apps and will try and scale to nearly 100,000 apps, officials said.

Interestingly, Jolla has promised extended support for Android apps.

“In our BRICS country strategy we have been proceeding fastest in India, which is one the most important markets in the future of mobile. We have seen a lot of interest among Indian mobile device manufacturers, digital media houses, and operators, and they are all very keen to work with an alternative to the currently dominating mobile operating systems,” Antti Saarnio, executive chairman of Jolla, said.

“India needs and deserves its own regional mobile ecosystem, an open platform, which supports local Indian services and businesses,” he added.

Jolla, which is using a local app strategy to go to the market, will come with apps like Cric buzz and apps from Times Internet Services. The new range of devices will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors starting from 200 to the 800 series variants and will be 4G LTE compliant.

According to Intex, the association with the Sailfish platform will help the company in offering more choices in the Indian mobile ecosystem. Sailfish based products can be expected by October-November-December quarter, Intex said.

The domestic manufacturer also said that the price of the phones would be around Rs.10,000. “The future of mobile lies in software with which we can change the user experience and offer more options for our customers,” Keshav Bansal, director of Intex Technologies, said during the announcement.

Intex, which had also partnered with Mozilla to bring phones on the Firefox operating system, currently is the second most dominant brand in India with a market share of 10.7 percent. Also, the company holds the record of selling the cheapest smartphone in the country which runs on the Firefox operating system.

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