Chinese chipset manufacturer Unisoc, formerly known as Spreadtrum Communications, is one of two chipset providers for the JioPhone and JioPhone 2. The feature phones built for the Reliance Jio network have seen significant success thanks to the affordable pricing, features and connectivity with the Reliance Jio network in India. The chipmaker is now bringing its focus to other affordable device manufacturers in India, which it hopes to market its affordable 4G chispets to.
The company is reportedly in talks with homegrown mobile phone makers, including Micromax and Lava, to launch affordable 4G feature phones and smartphones in India, according to a report by the Economic Times. While mainstream manufacturers such as Xiaomi and Samsung have offerings that start at around Rs 6,000 onwards, Unisoc is looking to better serve lower price points with its offerings. Although margins aren’t as high in the ultra-budget segment, the volumes may make sales viable in the long run.
Affordable chipsets meant for this segment already exist from Unisoc, and are further based around LTE connectivity. Offering high-speed internet access and voice calling over 4G networks, Unisoc chips are one of two options – the other is from competitor Qualcomm – found in the JioPhone and JioPhone 2. The new Unisoc 9863 chipset from the company will be a way forward for the company as it seeks to capitalize on the feature phone and very affordable smartphone segments.
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Indian smartphone maker Micromax recently bagged a massive Rs 1,500 crore order from the Chhattisgarh Government to distribute affordable smartphones for women and students in the state. This large shipment briefly brought the company back into the top five brands in India. According to Unisoc, 90 percent of the five million smartphones that Micromax shipped as part of this order were powered by Unisoc chipsets. Therefore, while Qualcomm and MediaTek tend to control segments at higher prices, Unisoc may indeed see its best potential in the ultra-affordable space in India.