Life With A $100 Smartphone: How Low-Cost Phones Are Rapidly Changing Lives In India
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
BANGALORE, India — Bharath Kumar has the husky build of a rugby player, which comes in handy as he lugs around a large backpack filled with packages to deliver on his patch of Bangalore. That and ownership of a good scooter or motorcycle were among prerequisites the 25-year-old met about a year back when he switched jobs so he could motor around town, sometimes listening to music, delivering packages from Amazon.com’s Indian unit.
Accessing the mobile Web would have been unthinkable for Kumar just a few years ago when feature phones dominated the Indian market. But now, Chinese mobile phone manufacturers like Lenovo, Xiaomi and Huawei, and Indian manufacturers like Micromax, Intex and Lava are flooding the marketwith mostly Android-compatible smartphones that cost a little more than $100, a price point that makes it affordable for a vast swath of the Indian public.