John Sculley, Apple Ex-CEO to Build Smartphone Firm in India

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By Judith Aparri | March 10, 2014 3:41 PM EST

The once big boss of Apple John Sculley will build a smartphone company in India, as heard from BGR India. Inflexionpoint is an investment and acquisition company with Sculley as among its founding partners. Based in Singapore, the investments for this venture will flow into Dragon Technology, Inflexionpoint's company in China.

Sculley's smartphone brand will have Ajay Sharma at the helm. Sharma is the ex-boss of Micromax smartphone division and HTC India. They will manufacture smartphones wherein price range will be from Rs 5,000 to 15,000 (about US$ 80 to $245). However, smartphones are already flooding the Indian market with tier-one and local brands alike, it is not clear how their brand will surface from the others. Sharma is positive that their upcoming devices will have a distinctive positioning and unique selling proposition (USP).

However, even if the Schulley upcoming devices will have numerous competitors, the Indian market is large enough to welcome another brand. The latest IDC numbers show smartphone shipments growing in Indian three times in 2013 (from 2012), from 16.2 million to 44 million. Market analysts anticipate continued growth this year.

According to Sharma, Sculley considers India a great market for phones. American smartphone giant and Sculley's ex-employer Apple Inc. and Sculley may compete in various price ranges and it will be quite interesting who will win. Apple has attractive buyback schemes to boost its sales performance in India, which is currently dominated by Asian-based phone maker Samsung. Tailing Samsung closely are home-bred phone manufacturers, Karbonn and Micromax. The rising smartphone sales in the country has been propelled by the coming of low-end devices by both local and international vendors.

Low-end smartphones narrowed the price gap between them and feature phones. Sculley and his team targets the affordable devices segment which will cost less than Rs 12,000. Dragon Technology will coordinate with China's device manufacturers daily to ensure quality control. This will be one of the brand's advantages since competitors rely more on importing the devices, and not giving value to the finished items.

According to Sharma, the handset market in India is rising, giving everyone a room to grow. Thus, this is the opportune time to introduce a new brand.

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