According to Lenovo India Managing Director Amar Babu, the transition to low-cost devices is faster in India, unlike other markets.
     
"The value and quality expectations from the customers are same, if not more pronounced. Therefore, providing a good device at a low-price point becomes a major challenge," he said.
     
Over the last few months, handset makers have launched a series of smartphones across price points, but a huge chunk of these were aimed at tapping the sub Rs 12,000 category (USD 200).
     
International brands like Motorola and Nokia launched new products in the category, which analysts believe could be a Rs 280 billion opportunity (by value) at the end of FY2014-15.     

"Innovation is what sets us apart, and creates an edge over our competitors. To become a strong player in the segment, we will continue to bring new technologies at different price points, reinforcing our global smartphone strategy," he said.
     
Globally, Lenovo is the fourth largest smartphone maker with 5.4 per cent share of the market.
     
Incidentally, Lenovo is waiting for regulatory approvals for the USD 2.91 billion-acquisition of Motorola from Google. Handset makers in India are betting big on mobile Internet to reach out to newer audiences. Various reports suggest that the next billion population accessing the Internet for the first time will do so on their phones instead of personal computers.
     
Companies like Microsoft, which acquired Nokia's handset division, are also targeting the affordable smartphone category aggressively, estimating it to be a USD 50 billion annual opportunity.
     
The smartphone market in India grew at 84 percent year-on-year to 18.42 million units in Q2 of 2014 from 10.02 million units (in April-June 2013 quarter), as per research firm IDC.
     
Korean handset maker Samsung led the smartphone market in India with 29 percent share, followed by Micromax at 18 percent, Karbonn at 8 percent and Lava at 6 percent.