Samsung is planning to launch its cheapest LTE phone in India next week, priced at around Rs 25,000-27,000, according to an industry source.
The phone will have a 4.3 inch display, but other details were not available. The model may not come with Android KitKat or Lollipop.
It will be sold as an affordable LTE device in time for the launch of Samsung-powered 4G network from Reliance, which will be ready to serve customers early next year.
Samsung is reported to be implementing most of the the ambitious LTE network being put in place by Reliance. However, it is other companies, particularly Lenovo, HTC and Gionee, who are poised to reap the benefits of the launch of pan-India 4G services in India.
Gionee has already launched the LTE enabled S5.1, priced at Rs 17,500, in India, while LG has launched the Rs 15,000 LG F60 with LTE. HTC has come up with Desire 820q, priced at Rs 22,500. Lenovo has launched its Vibe X2 at Rs 20,000.
In all this, Samsung was conspicuous by its absence. It’s cheapest LTE phone was priced at Rs 37,000 – in the form of the LTE version of its Galaxy S5.
This is the shortcoming that Samsung is planning to address with the launch of the new model in the Rs 25,000 price range.
Gionee has already announced that all its new models priced above Rs 10,000 will come with built-in LTE. Similarly, Indian operators like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn and Spice are expected to come out with their first LTE models before the end of December.
These are likely to be priced in the Rs 20,000 price range initially and will be powered by MediaTek’s new LTE-integrated chipsets.