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One ring, multiple SIM phones

While the device may not set the streets alight with its rather basic configuration at a retail price of Rs 4,700, it is not what one would call expensive.

Kushan Mitra | Print Edition: March 21, 2010

Late in February, Intex, one of a handful of Indian manufacturers marketing mobile phones, launched a mobile device that can support three SIM cards (two GSM cards and one CDMA card) with all three working simultaneously.

While the device may not set the streets alight with its rather basic configuration at a retail price of Rs 4,700, it is not what one would call expensive. In fact, dual-SIM devices, sold in India by a clutch of mobile device marketing companies such as Intex, Lava, Micromax, Karbonn, Boss, Zen and Lemon, have surged in popularity. Cheap Chinese imports are slapped on with a brand name and sold with the devices bearing more than a little similarity to popular branded handsets.

It is estimated that 20 per cent of the 10 million handsets sold in India every month are now dual-SIM (or more) devices with sales exepected to increase with high-end features being added. "Today, our devices have the top features like multimegapixel cameras, high-resolution screens and great battery life," says Sashin Devsare, Executive Director, Jaina Group, marketers of Karbonn. Multiple-SIM handsets are here to stay.

THE DUAL-SIM RAGE

  • 2 mn handsets sold every month
  • Chinese handsets flood the market
  • Rs 2,500 average price of available handsets

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