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Indian manufacturer Micromax working on a Windows Phone for 2014

Micromax

India is an interesting market for smartphones. The country is growing quickly with low-end, affordable smartphones from multiple vendors pushing through hardware and upgrading consumers. Now the co-founder of Micromax (www.micromaxinfo.com), an India handset maker, Rahul Sharma has revealed the company will be looking to release a Windows Phone next year. 

Global market intelligence firm, IDC previously noted that the Indian smartphone market tripled its shipments year-over-year in the second quarter of this year. The same quarter also saw more than 50 per cent growth over Q1 2013. It's a lucrative market, which Nokia is already in the process of tapping into with the Lumia 520 proving to be the most popular Windows Phone in India, according to previous AdDuplex reports.

So, we know that India's an important market, but what are the plans for Micromax? The company wants to expand into Europe and - as noted above - is looking at Microsoft's Windows Phone. In an interview with the IndiaTimes, Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma was asked if the sale of Nokia to Microsoft has had any impact on the company. Here's the quoted response:

"It has been good for us because they have chosen to stick to the Windows operating system. Had they chosen Android, it would have been a threat for us. But now we're certain that they will not look at Android, which means lesser competition for us. We are working on a Windows phone and you might see something from us around mid of next year."

Even though Microsoft will be incorporating Nokia into the Redmond beast, Micromax still views Windows Phone as a growing platform with potential even for emerging vendors. It'll be interesting to see how Micromax attempts to differentiate itself from Nokia and other Windows Phone OEM partners. More "phablets" running Microsoft's mobile OS? We certainly wouldn't turn any down.

Source: The Next Web, IndiaTimesthanks to everyone who tipped us!

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Reader comments

Indian manufacturer Micromax working on a Windows Phone for 2014

108 Comments

They have done an amazing job at making cheap S4 look-a-likes. If instead of that they can serve real Windows Phones in same low end market, WP will take India by storm! Also, Micromax has sponsored more cricket matches recently than Apple or Samsung. Cricket is a religion in India. Imagine seeing WP on your screen every 4 mins (1 over in cricket) for 6-7 hours a day on at least 200 days that India plays cricket!!

Yeah, except any one of those "tight wearing" guys could mop the floor with even the toughest cricket player, if one could even find one that was tough. 

LOL at mopping, cricket players don't do so such idiotic stuff, check out Chris Gayle he can kill your favourite tightwad with his bare hands :)

And here comes the stupid comments when WP needs all the OEM they can get on board. Its how you help a starving OS get legs under. What you consider "cheap" is what help get lower tier owner get on board with OS. When OPPO and Huawei release it will be a good sign in China. Region countries need their local mfr that their regions are familiar with. This only helps the OS in general. If you don't want cheap plastic don't buy Nokia.

I don't care about micromax phones. I care about WP being more recognized. People bitch bitch bitch. Then something positive for the WP happens and people bitch bitch bitch and typical fanboy fashion.

WP need OEM but that doesn't mean that you can allow garbage manufacturer to get on board. 
I thought WP have some standard
Anyway soon like Android we are gonna see thirds class garbage Window Phone.

Wait wait wait. If India is *only* interested in beginning tier phones, WHY push away a company that would make low class ANDROID phones instead and be competition? Until we (WP) control a large part of the market, we don't have the right to be choosy on home produces WPs!
edit: and while Nokia is occupying India, It clearly isn't enough because micromax is evidently still alive, among other OEMs. I'm on your side, id like NICE WPs but look at this a chance for micromax to refine their look and make em look Purdy.

Any vendor joining WP is good for the ecosystem... Period. Let the user decide they will stick with Nokia or get cheap Micromax hardware (also much cheaper price). Afterall their ads will only make more awareness for the platform in general.

But, in the end I wonder how much support would they provide considering they are neck deep in Android... might be another HTC, Samsung scenario.

In India, there is a huge lack of awareness about the pros of WP platform, much more due to the sales guys at the store. Micromax and its ads (if they consider to air alongside android, ever) may create some positivity about the platform since Nokia banks solely on camera. THIS is needed.

And yes, I have never used Micromax... nor Samsung, Lava, Gionee, whatever. I'm a sucker for quality, so always stuck with Nokia ;)

I've also never used Pantech, Huawei, Coby, either and they are all part of Android low market consumption as well. So what's your point. What's does it matter to you if you never buy one but thousands of Indians will?

Thousands? more like Millions, Micromax is poised to overtake Samsung in the Indian smartphone market in 2014 with more than 50 Million smartphone sales.

Good if millions. That's why its important for the ecosystem to have a brand their region are aware of. That's the point instead of people bitching.

I just dont want windows phone being recognised for buggy Chinese phones. Would ve been more than happy if players like lg, Sony also pitched in. Anything but micromax. It really is "nothing like anything" :( it is true its cashing in on android n slicing market share of Samsung here in India. But the other side to micromax, is known for its poor build qualify, bad after sales support etc. :) anyways lets see how it competes with nokias low end devices.

For Microsoft and Nokia: this is good news as Windows Phone will get more highlight.

For Micromax itself: I'm not too sure. Nokia has pretty much covered all the low, mid and high price range. And good luck battling with the 90% platform dominator :P

think of it as making hay while the sun shines. people WILL buy micromax mobiles seeing the platform's growth.
so when WP will grow, it will be manufacturers with more share in a platform's market share that will benefit from more sales. The more samsung and htc come late to this platform, the more micromax will benefit later on.
but yes, they are never ever going to surpass Nokia. I mean, android may have crossed everything, but this is another battle. micromax can only take a bite out of the cake.

Very good decision by Microsoft, Micromax now has 22% marketshare in India vs 26% of Samsung and they will soon overtake Samsung and get the No.1 spot. Nokia has just 5% marketshare.
 
No need to worry about hardware as SOC, screen resolution and most other things are already specified by Microsoft for Windows phone minimum hardware guidelines.
 
Windows phone needs all the support it can from as many new Indian and Chinese OEM's as possible as they sell millions/month in their home country. Micromax sales will touch 50 Million/year by 2014 and it will be good to see some windows phone sales.

I agree. MSFT are quite specific about the actual hardware that goes into a Windows Phone and besides, the hardware that goes into a Nokia Lumia phone is made by a 3rd party with the phones built by another 3rd party somewhere in China. So the argument about build quality is non-existent.
Micromax is a more popular brand in India than Nokia so for them to start producing Windows Phone devices can only be a good thing for Windows Phone. It won't affect sales of Nokia phones because by the time Micromax start selling devices Nokia won't be in the game anymore.
Maybe this is Microsoft's plan to allow an already popular brand to sell Windows Phone in India whilst they concentrate on trying to sell their own MS branded phones elsewhere.

Yeah.. an international level company whose after sales service is non existent.. Micromax is notorious for rebranding cheap chinese phones and pushing them into the Indian market !!! 

Because WP has to adhere to a set of specifications, this would mean micromax would have to do the same as well. Now, how these devices will be engineered ( specifically the build quality and materials used) by micromax may be a different story, but the OS will run on the same chipsets as Nokia uses, so OS performance shouldn't matter. WP needs more OEM's, and im sure Microsoft will have say so into whether the phones from micromax meets all required specs before one is released publicly.

I'm not worried about the performance of WP at all.. and the control MSFT has on devices running WP gives me a sort of reassurance as to their performance and reliability.. I agree that we need more OEMs to push WP into low cost markets.. but what i'm more concerned about is the after sales service.. right now, Micromax doesn't have its own Service centres, they refer you to a third party who are authorized to service their phones.. One of the reasons why Nokia has got such value in India (even if they don't have the sales numbers) is due to the strong After sales service they provide..

I feel that, Not having a strong after sales service and phone quality would kinda undermine the WP platform.. you see, people will end up bashing the OS for a fault with the hardware..

What has Nokia achieved in the Indian market will all the service centres? they have just 5% smartphone marketshare compared to 22% marketshare of Micromax who is poised to overtake Samsung by next year. Service, price, brand-name means squat when there are no sales and no profits. Windows phone needs a small-pie out of the 50Million/year Micromax juggernout.

In India whoever wants to buy WP definitely they will go for nokia, no of people going for Samsung and htc are very small, so according to this, micromax is thinking really very good to launch WP in India, to compete nokia.... CUs micromax already succeeded in android by competing Samsung and htc!!! Although they are very slow in performance but numbers say that micromax won that.....!!

@Etios
The value of a Brand speaks for itself.. Micromax may have sold more phones than nokia.. but, it has to go a long way before it attains the level of Nokia.. you, me, anyone can get phones from china and rebrand it and sell in india.. And you are talking as if Nokia is not seeing any profits.. No one would like to see their phone not being replaced/repaired by service centres after a malfunction.. I can show you thousands of people who bought micromax standing in front of the service centres, begging them to repair their faulty/malfunctioning devices.. People buy micromax just for the fact that it runs android.. if it ran any other OS other than android, do you think people would still prefer micromax over samsung and other established companies??? 

Samsung and HTC are greedy when it comes to android.. They don't have any good devices in the 8k - 15k range.. and that is exactly where Micromax has placed its products.. But nokia isn't like that.. they have some really good devices in the low, medium and high price range; and it would be tough for micromax to penetrate that area unless they have strong after sales service.. For example, lets assume that Micromax comes up with a WP device in the 12k - 16k range.. would you still prefer micromax over nokia who has 620, 625 and 720 in that price point???    

What brand value? The brand value of Nokia didn't save them from getting sold, Brand value didn't save Nokia from reaching 5% marketshare whereas Micromax has 22%. Infact Nokia as a brand will be dead soon as Microsoft will be using Microsoft Lumia branding on all Lumia phones after the deal is formally completed.
 
If you can get phones from china, rebrand and sell it for profit and overtake Samsung then please do it and show it to everyone, its very easy talking down Micromax, if it was that easy then everyone will be earning Hundreds of Million Dollars profits like Micromax and dethroning Samsung. Nokia is still earning only losses since last 2 years, they would have gone bankrupt till now if their NSN netwoking division didn't make money in between plus 250 Million platform support payment from Microsoft every quarter. 

1. You are comparing the sales of android to the sales of WP.. And WP is relatively new when compared to Android..
2. What has Micromax contributed apart from bringing low cost devices to India???
3. Does micromax own any patents in its name?? Or do they even have an R&D facility???
4. Zero innovation from micromax.
5. Micromax doesn't even have a manufacturing facility..
6. Nokia's profits will obviously be low when compared to micromax as they have to maintain their R&D facility.. I'm sure they spend millions.. Probably billions of dollars for it.. In addition to the maintenance of their manufacturing facilities worldwide and payment of salaries to their workers..

1. Ofcourse different OS manufacturers can be compared, Samsung vs Apple, Samsung vs Nokia can be compared as all of them are fighting for the same market and same customers. Micromax has 22% marketshare and nokia 5% that is all matters in the end.
 
2. Micromax provided smartphones at low cost to the general masses which is the ultimate aim of any tech company, windows desktop OS is at top since decades as they fulfilled their aim of putting a PC in every home.
 
3. Micromax do have an R&D facility, in the first year of their operation itself they invest $10Million in R&D, don't have latest figures but i am sure it will be much more in 2013.
 
4. IF Zero innovation leads to second biggest and soon biggest smartphone company in the third largest smarphone market in the world then more power to them!!
 
5. Again false info, MIcromax has a factory in Rudrapur, India.
 
6. Nobody is discounting the fact that Nokia invests a lot in R&D and many other big companies too like Apple and Samsung but what is the use in the end if you are making only losses and have to sell your company
 
And all this vitroil and fighting for what?? Micromax making windows phones is only good for the ecosystem, nothing else. Windows phone needs all the support it can from as many new Indian and Chinese OEM's as possible as they sell millions/month in their home country.
 
More sales means more worldwide marketshare which leads to good developer support and vibrant growing ecosystem. Microsoft won the desktop OS wars by licensing to everyone and OEM support is extermely important for the survival of Windows Phone which you may enjoy on your Nokia Lumia soon to be Microsoft Lumia.

Please understand that i'm not fighting at all.. i'm just putting my views on micromax.. i still haven't begun trusting micromax, and it will take me a while to do so.. I might start trusting micromax if they stepped up their efforts in providing good after sales support (as my brother and i suffered a lot to replace a faulty display on Canvas HD which we bought for 15k, and that's the reason why i'm stressing more on after sales support)
And the part about Nokia selling itself to microsoft due to losses incurred by it.. i don't feel that's the case.. I'm of the opinion that Nokia and Microsoft were way too close.. They shared each others' technology and secrets; and maybe MSFT started to feel insecure and thought that if Nokia branched out to android it would take the shared technology and ideas and secrets along with it; and so bought it.. No matter how bad we feel about the sale, Its actually a WIN-WIN situation for Nokia, MSFT and WP users as a whole.. MSFT gets to use Nokia's technology and their patents, Nokia's shareholders get a lump sum of money, and we WP users (especially Nokia users) will get more close strung support from MSFT.. We'll get a device like the NEXUS.. :D    

No harm done, i can understand your feelings due to bad service treatment, i am just intrested in improving the windows phone marketshare which will be the best scenario for all windows phone consumers in the end, so we are on the same team :)

I love these relatively unheard of (in uk, usa etc) phone companies, when i check them out, they make quality looking devices that for some reason seem like they are either illegal or dark lol

It sounds funny when someone like you comment about a mobile manufacturer company without using phones of the company and says " they seems illegal or dark" with that non-use word lol....

The more the merrier as long as quality is not affected. This will lead to increased awareness because even after 2-3 years i hardly see any Windows phone advts at retailers here. All the glass front is occupied by Samsung. Microsoft should release a deluge of posters & insist the retailers to be put up front.

Don't just talk about build quality, micromax can offer a WP of 920's equivalent specs at 15k ($250). It would definitely be a good sign for WP, if they can get micromax aboard..

Great to see more companies going for WP OS. I have a micromax android phone which I bought for less tha 200 bucks, works great, even better than my galaxy s4 mini.

Good to see companies fear nokia...had they taken android it wud had been a threat for evryone coz people wud have bought nok-droids then... Whatever nokia makes put their best in it.. They are bringing wp8.. If it wud had been android.. It wud have threatened Samsung ... :D

micromax is famous in making impressive hardware at a low cost,
now they have second place in smaprtphone sales in India bellow samsung
Lets see waht they can bring with a windows phone..........
Hopes a good device

Microsoft needs more control over build quality if they ever get to make one. This sounds dangerous in terms of user experience.

Thank god for microsoft's minimum specification...else windows phone would have lost its thing when micromax comes out with there device....being an Indian I know what micromax is capable of delivering trust me when I say its not good.....they better stick to lag droid...hoping they fail to cough up the fee for windows license....

Though i'm ms loyal user, i have to say nokia was wrong to stick to only WP os, just sell low cost android in china and india, they can be back the game.

Oh no, not micromax they all are chineese phones with a brand name punched, all techs mean chips r same as chineese shits, and its been reported that with that chineese shits, they are doing spy work, like accessing call log etc. Please not in to windows phone

Is it that hard to understand that phrase. Like say nothing like anything made. Pretty straight forward.

Micromax is the strongest brand in India. Them being on board with WP is nothing but good news for our ecosystem, I don't understand all the negativity.

For people dissing Micromax, here's my personal experience with it so far:

My dad uses a Micromax Canvas 2+ ICS phone, it does not have a 'great' display at some 400x800 pixels, it has some quad core mediatec 1.2ghz processor and 1gb of ram. The overall build quality feels extremely cheap for someone like me who was forever and ever used only Nokias. But I was completely surprised when I compared the performance side by side to a 2012 Nexus 7, loading high end games, playing high def videos and overall experience was nothing less than at par with the Google made tablet. I know it is not a 'prestigious' brand but an OEM like MIcromax pushing out a windows phone would change the equation in the Subcontinental region atleast, imho.

One thing it seems like people are forgetting. Windows phone gave an almost lag-free smoother than silk experience. Its not the hardware that did it, it was WP coding. So for a OEM like MM to make a windows phone, you will essentially get the same experience, no matter the hardware. Ppl must think MS is crazy to let them throw WP on anything. Even if they use second rate hardware, WP is already optimized to handle it well.

Put the same hardware side by side and load WP and android and guess who performs better.

Micromax started as a small company and they used all the cheap things they could. But as the company gets bigger they start using good hardware as their brand value increases. All the companies are like that only. I would like to see micromax with a windowsphone as it will increase their brand value even more.

Exactly! Samsung a perfect example. LG as well. People forgot Samsung product in the 90 was Coby laughable. I really just don't get the logic of thinking on here. If it was up to some people on here. WP would had been gone to shits.

Just curious, but how much is the Lumia 520 in India? Is it so expensive that this brand can undercut it? I guess I don't understand.   

Lumia 520 is $130-$140, Micromax can definitely undercut Nokia at every price-point as they operate on verly low margins, they can deliver Lumia 520 like phones at $80-$100, they can deliver phablets at $150-$200 which is a big craze in India.
 
More than all this Micromax has much more marketshare(22%) and momentum compared to Nokia(5%) in the Indian market. Phone retailers carry massive branding, every mobile phone selling shop pushes micromax, Micromax has masssive Advertisement campaigns covering print, tv serials and even sports, they are going to overtake Samsung by 2014 with 50Million sales/year in India.
 
So, its a matter of getting the biggest smartphones seller in the third largest smartphone market in the world to get on-board the windows phone train.

There are serious considerations to be made before this can be beneficial for Windows Phone. Micromax may be eating into the market share, but it's business practices do not make it a respectable company. There are a lot of areas they need to improve on.
Using Windows Phone is a beautiful experience, and a promise of "cheap devices" is not worth diluting that experience.
And personally, if they rip off Nokia designs for their Windows Phone devices, I am going to be pissed off.

Micromax Does Not Manufactures any mobile it just rebrands Cheap chinese phones , which you wont buy even for half of price if they are sold to you by their original names . Since it does not manufactures any mobiles it does not have/need its own Hardware R&D department and result of which customers suffers and have to wait for their product to get repaired from service centers . The hardware is not tested for quality and there are large number of Display , Power and Camera issues in micromax phones .

I have started a blog to make people Aware of Micromax Cheap Phones and Bad Service kindly share your stories to support it

---curse-micromax-mobile.blogspot.com--...