Bollywood Stars Endorse China Smartphones In India

Posted: Feb 11 2014, 2:45am CST | by , Updated: Feb 11 2014, 2:51am CST, in Mobile Phones


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Bollywood Stars Endorse China Smartphones in India

As competition hots up for India’s soaring smartphone market, Chinese brands have turned to a tried-and-tested ploy to boost demand and improve brand recall: signing on India’s topmost Bollywood stars. China’s startup Oppo has just enlisted ultra-stylish Bollywood actors, Sonam Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, to launch its N1 phones.

Oppo’s commercial features Roshan and Kapoor in an overworked Bollywood theme, that of a romance between long-lost childhood friends who fortuitously stumble upon each other — aided by their smartphones. At the end of the sappy storyline, the two take a selfie together promoting the Oppo N1’s standout feature: its 13-megapixel camera than can swivel over 200 degrees.

Between the stars and the selfie-friendly camera feature, Oppo hopes to hook many younger Indians.
Oppo, a Guangdong, China-based maker of MP3 devices and Blu-ray players, launched the slick-looking N1 to compete with smartphones in the mid to premium end. It wants to capture brand-conscious younger mobile user market in fast-expanding markets in Asia.

In India, newer brands will face more-established rivals such as Korean handset maker, Samsung, and the homegrown Micromax and Karbonn.

Still, the market is highly attractive as smartphone penetration is currently less than 20% of the total mobile phone user base. Sales are rocketing, and the market expanded 229 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2013, according to research firm IDC.

Bollywood stars have been in great demand to endorse foreign smartphone brands in India. Top-billed stars Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif sell the BlackBerry Z10 and Sony’s Xperia Z1, respectively.

Oppo’s more-established Chinese rival Gionee entered India last year and is getting increasingly aggressive in the market. Bollywood star Huma Qureshi recently launched Gionee’s Elife E76 smartphone while Farhan Akhtar endorses the brand.

Gionee, which recently sponsored the star-spangled Bollywood music industry awards show, said it wants to capture 10% of Indian market share in the next two-three years. Meanwhile, its Chinese rival Xiaomi is also set to enter India in the coming months.

Source: Forbes

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