An expected announcement came in from Intel a few weeks ago when the dominant PC chipmaker announced its mobile phones foray for India, which is among the fastest growing mobile phone markets worldwide. While this was logically awaited ever since Intel had announced smartphone plans with Motorola Mobility and Lenovo, the India announcement still had an element of surprise in that the partner, Lava International, was not a globally known brand.

While the announcement is symbolic of a newfound position for Indian brands, it is also reflective of an ICT bellwether’s willingness to contextualize to local market needs.

Contextualizing to Indian needs is beginning to become a norm rather than an aberration, and that, other than anything else, is significant from consumers’ standpoint. Earlier, Nokia had announced its Asha series of phones, where the name itself was a Hindi word meaning “hope.” Samsung’s Guru series of phones have also been a similar case in point.

Intel’s Lava announcement can be credited with giving the India focus a wider dimension. The device XOLO X900 is based on an Intel reference design, is powered by a 1.6 Ghz processor, and has dual cameras, including an 8 megapixel camera. It also supports HDMI, NFC and HD.

In terms of the listed features, there seems to be enough muscle for Lava to play a smartphone game, especially in the higher end of the market. The real meat of the device would be tested and determined by actual user experience though.

Needless to say, XOLO X900 looks targeting the premium segment of customers. The smartphone market in India, however, is quite segmented and being present in the relevant segments would be important for players. Identifying the right segments can sometimes be tricky and challenging.

The Intel-Lava announcement is expected to trigger action from other Indian brands. The mobile phone landscape in India remains dynamic, indeed.

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