HTC Smart (the Brew one) launches on India’s Airtel at £148 price point

Good news for Qualcomm and HTC as they continue their race across the simply stupendously large development marketplace. To India, then — Bharti Airtel have announced that they will launch the HTC Smart in 30 Indian cities. The ‘market operating price’ will be 9,990 Rupees — or approximately 148 Pounds Sterling ($222).

Now in a country where the average income per head is just over $1,000, spending a quarter of that income on a phone is not necessarily a sensible decision.

But there’s an emerging middle class in India, thirsting for the latest and greatest handsets — so I’m looking forward to seeing how they react to the HTC Smart. Of course the Smart, at the £148 price point, is a heck of a lot more reasonable than some of the other HTC Devices — e.g. the HTC Legend will top out at around $660. Three times the cost of the Smart.

The Smart is a handsome phone. It boasts HTC’s rather swish Sense UI and it looked like quite a capable device when I played with it at Mobile World Congress. You’ve also got HTC’s Friendstream integration too — which puts Facebook, Twitter and Flickr into one stream of updates. Compared to your bog standard Nokia 1600 series, the Smart is going to look pretty nifty.

Good luck to everyone. Get it right in India and the rewards could be massive.

And just to put this in context, the Indian Regulatory Authority reports that India added 19 million new subscribers in December or about 630,000 customers every day. That’s the equivalent of adding an o2 UK every month.

Every single customer will be looking for a handset, too.

(My Original Blog Post: http://ping.fm/QRtDV)

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