China cellular firm launches products in India

  • Business
  • Saturday, 30 Aug 2003

NEW DELHI: Bird International, China's largest mobile phone maker, announced yesterday the launch of its products in India. 

The firm, also China's second largest pager producer, said it would carve a toehold in India where Finland's Nokia and US giant Motorola now rule the mobile market. 

According to Cellular Operators Association of India, the number of domestic cellular phone subscribers doubled to 16.3 million in the 12 months to July, with the month itself posting a record 1.15 million new customers. 

“Our handsets clocked sales of seven million units in 2002 with annual revenues of US$845mil,” Jean-Alexis Chatelain, director of Bird International, said after launching four top Chinese models here. 

“The brand has already sold over six million units during the first half of 2003, which is no mean feat for a 10-year-old company in a highly-competitive market. 

“And now we are confident that our mobile phone offering will succeed in the Indian market,” he said, adding that the Chinese company had tied up with an Indian marketing firm to give the current market leaders a run for their money. 

The announcement coincided with Nokia's upbeat predictions that India's market was large enough for rival companies.  

“We believe there will be 100 million people in India using mobile phones in three to four years,” said Sari Baldaus, president of Nokia Network. 

Motorola, too, is apparently gearing up for the incoming competition from Asian rivals such as Bird and South Korea's Samsung. In recent comments, Mike S. Zafirovski, president of Motorola-Global said: “We will be increasing our presence here.” 

The Indian subsidiary of Dutch electronics giant Philips also has flagged off new mobile phone handsets, taking its total number of models in India to five. – AFX  

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