LeTV Le 1s, one of the most anticipated phones in India, has been priced at a jaw-dropping Rs 10,999, despite it costing the company Rs 16,000 to manufacture it.
At the given price, the phone is undoubtedly and by far the most value for money device in India. Flipkart will also offer 10% cashback on certain bank cards for the phones, bringing the total price to Rs 9,900.
Registrations for the devices are open today, the ecommerce company said. Sales will start on 2nd of February.
LeTV has also established 550 service centers across the country, including provisions for free home pickup and dropoff.
The prices are below the actual cost of materials used in the models. The cost of production is Rs 16,000 for the 1s and Rs 42,000 for the Max, the company said.
The prices are being subsidized by the revenue that the company hopes to generate from apps and content services bundled with the phones — a new model that has never been tried in India so far.
The phone comes with Helio X10 processor and a 5.5-inch full-HD display. RAM is 3 GB and storage memory is 32 GB. There is microSD card support.
The company uses in-cell technology, which reduces the distance between the backlight and the color layer, something that it said competitors use only on high-end models.
Camera is 13 MP with f/2.3 aperture, which is not very small (bigger is better). It also comes with reversible, high-speed USB Type C charging point.
The charger is 24 watts, which is double the power of normal chargers. Because of this, the phone can be charged for just 5 minutes for 3.5 hours of talk time.
LE 1S vs REDMI NOTE
The only possible competitor to the 1s will be Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 (32 GB)– which has superior camera, processor and battery.
Both Le 1s and Redmi Note 3 are 5.5 inch full-HD model with 32 GB of storage and 3 GB of RAM.
However, the Xiaomi model is built on the more powerful Snapdragon 650 platform, while the 1s is built on the Helio X10 platform.
The Helio X10 is as powerful as the Snapdragon 650 on an overall basis, but for single-threaded tasks, the Qualcomm chipset blows the X10 out of the water due to its use of Cortex A72 processor. The X10 is based on the A53 core technology.
The A53 is the ARM core with the least amount of power, followed by the mid-range A57 and the top-end A72. In addition to having a more powerful processor, the Redmi Note 3 also has superior imaging capabilities compared to the LeTV model.
The Redmi Note 3 comes with a 16 MP camera with f/2.0 aperture lens and phase-detection auto-focus technology which helps the camera focus in just 0.1 second. The 1s makes do with a 13 MP camera.
Battery capacity on the Note is 4 Ah, while that on the 1s is 3 Ah. However, it is not clear whether the Snapdragon 650 supports fast charging like the Helio X10 platform.
Given the aggressive pricing by LeTV, Xiaomi will have to price the 3GB version of Note 3 at Rs 13,000 to compete well, something which seems impossible right now.
UPDATE: 1 lakh users have registered on the first day for the flash sale that will take place on Feb 2. Click here.
LeTV also ntroduced the Le Max high-end phone with Snapdragon 810 processor and 4 GB of DDR4 RAM.
The phone comes with 6.33 Sharp 2K display with a 80% display ratio. The camera is 21 MP and has optical image stabilization. The main camera comes with IMX230 sensor from Sony.
The 64 GB device will be silver in color, while the 128 GB variant will carry the gold color.
It also introduced a sapphire version of the Le Max. Sapphire crystal is much much harder than glass is virtually unbreakable.
The price of the 64 GB model s Rs 32,999, though the cost of materials was 42,000 for the 64 GB variant, the company said.
LeTV, which is introducing its ‘Le Ecosystem’ to India right now, is emphasizing the entire ecosystem, instead of just being a smartphone or TV company.
In keeping with the new focus, the company will be known as Le Eco and not LeTV in India.
“We are bringing end-to-end ecosystem, instead of just the devices,” said Ablikim Ablimit, VP, Global Strategy, LeEco.
It said it will focus on the entire spectrum of its offerings in India, including internet and the cloud, sports, content, smartphones and TVs, music and auto.
For example, it’s already tied up with Yupp TV, an online provider of broadcast channels. The app will bundled with the LeTV smartphones.
Similarly, as far as Bollywood content is concerned, it has tied up Eros International, one of India’s biggest film content companies. It will give one year worth of Eros Now app for each new customer of LeTV phones in India.
The company started out with Internet content and video. Today, it owns 100,000 TV episodes and 5000 movies.
LeTV was the first company to introduce live online paid concerts, according to it.
Last year, it entered the devices market and quickly rose to dominate sales in its categories. LeTV sold 3 mln TVs in 2015, perhaps a higher number than most if not all Indian TV brands.
It sells more premium TVs in the 50-inch plus category in China than Samsung, LG and Sharp, according to the company.
Its 6.3 inch Le Max smartphone biggest seller in the upper end market of China.
It also has a 11 Terrabit content delivery network with over 650 delivery points across the world.
The company also has a different way of design and development that involves being in constant touch with the users.
Unlike other companies, Le Eco will give a big role to the users — through social media and its websites — in designing its future products and improving its current ones.
Even the launch was conducted in a huge theater in Gurgaon in front of hundreds of fans.
India is one of the earliest companies where LeTV is expanding. The company said it was attracted by the peculiar situation of the country.
It hired Atul Jain to head its electronics division in India from Samsung South Asia.
“India is our new priority, our new destination for all our smart products.. India has the largest youth population in the world,” it said. “It also has Top talent in technology and Internet,” it added. LeTV will be setting up a 1000-person-strong R&D center.
LeTV has 1.5 mln fans on Facebook, even before launching a product.
Selected 10,000 core fans to improve the products and strengthen our vision from zero to hero.
The company also took potshots at Apple’s high prices and profit margins, calling it unsustainable. There was even a slide called “What Apple couldn’t accomplish.”