According to reports trickling in, Motorola is all set to drop another bomb on the Indian smartphone market—specifically its version of the budget smartphone, the E—a lower-cost sibling to the G and the X that have been released in the country in the last six months. If the company's success with the G is anything to go on, this could be another defining move for Motorola.
Indians love value for money—specifically, a product that gives you no-holds-barred quality at an affordable price. That's pretty much why they quickly fell in love with the G which sold out in minutes on e-tailer Flipkart earlier this year, which Motorolla had an exclusive tie up with for its launch. Priced at US$216, Moto G's reviewers and buyers found it streets ahead of its competition—namely Indian players Micromax, Karbonn and the Xolo series as well even the underwhelming models that Samsung hawked at that price range. When it came to specs, reliability, ergonomics, design and price nothing it seems could compete with the G.
For instance, Firstposts’s tech wing rated the G as the "best budget Android smartphone around. And the Moto E looks to one up this." The site reckons the phone fielding a 4.3-inch 720p display, and powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM, isn't all that different from the G.
The launch of the phone is on the 13th of this month but pics of the phone were apparently leaked by a Facebook user on Motorola Mexico's page (and it looks like techfirst was able to access the images before they were taken off the site). Both Firstpost and the Times of India also point to Brazilian retail site Fastshop posting a press image of the E along with the specs—the TOI article, however, talks about a 540p resolution along with a 5MP camera and a 4GB internal storage as well as support for a microSD card (which wasn't there in its sibling models.)
The most important aspect of its sale in India is its price point—apparently below the Rs 10,000 threshold (US$166) which is guaranteed to entice many Indian consumers, especially the youth segment. Rumours (that the TOI article makes reference to) also suggest that it is exceedingly thin—just 6.2 mm—which makes it slimmer than Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which should help its sales considerably.
The image that the TOI piece has managed to obtain from what is apparently a Flipkart advertisement supports the tagline "Goodbye old phone. Hello new Moto" along with a feature phone handset being supplanted by a smartphone—no doubt reinforcing the bet that India’s feature phone users (80 percent of the market today) who are converting to smartphones at a sizzling 200 percent rate, month-on-month will find this a compelling buy.
If the Moto G is anything to go by, the E may just make life extremely difficult for recent launches, like the Nokia X, that is similarly targeting users migrating from feature phones across India. Brands like Xolo and Micromax will also find the sub-10,000 Rs category suddenly a very crowded and ultra competitive space to operate in.