Not content with the success of the Yureka, YU is already working on its second smartphone, YU Televentures co-founder Rahul Sharma revealed during an exclusive interview with BGR India. Codenamed “Project Caesar”, the smartphone will be launched in India in April.
Micromax co-founders launched YU as a separate company that has an online-only retail model like Motorola and Xiaomi. Many in the industry believe this is Micromax’s strategy to take on the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus without alienating its distributors. However, Sharma maintains that YU was created to target a different audience.
“Micromax already had tailwind behind it and were growing in numbers month after month, quarter after quarter. We were thinking about what’s next and we wanted to target a different set of users – the tech natives and digital natives – the nerds. They want to customize their phones. What were we doing for them? And with that thought YU was born,” Sharma explains.
The entire focus of the new brand was on delivering a smartphone that users could customize on their own. YU tied up with Cyanogen, probably the world’s biggest custom ROM maker with an exclusive partnership for India.
“We wanted to have a custom ROM for YU and were wondering whether we should do it on our own. Then we came across Cyanogen and we realized to reach that customization level would tale is two to three years,” he says. “If it was just about getting into online sales we would not have gone to the extent of custom ROMs and things like that.”
Sharma is reluctant to talk much about Project Caesar, claiming this is the first time he has even revealed the name of the project to an outsider. A little prodding and he is willing to give away that the smartphone will run on Android L version of Cyanogen OS and it will be the best device in its category. He himself uses the Yureka, albeit a customized one with his name printed on the rear.
But YU won’t stop at smartphones. “YU is not just about smartphones. It is about connected devices t00,” Sharma quips. So you shouldn’t be surprised if you see some YU branded wearables soon.