Developing the PocketSurfer 2G4 and the 3G4 took DataWind a little more than seven months. However, the company’s web delivery platform which makes Internet browsing cheaper and faster took more than a decade to be developed, and later covered by 18 US and international patents.
“Our technology’s servers basically compress the web page, thereby automatically accelerating the delivery of web content on a phone. So even on an Edge or 2.5G network, the performance is fast, unlike on other phones which may take about half a minute to load the same page. The same content is bigger and takes more time to load,” explained Suneet Singh Tuli, president and CEO of DataWind.
Mr. Tuli also stated that plans are underway to bring manufacturing of both the phones to India in the coming months, as currently they are being manufactured in China. “And it is going to happen thanks to the Central government, which brought down the duty on important components for manufacturing to zero per cent. Previously, it was 28 per cent,” he said.
The CEO also stated that with manufacturing becoming cheaper, DataWind may set up plants in South India to. Asked if the company will see its footprint in Telangana, Mr. Tuli replied, “For that, we have asked the State government here to waive off the sales tax, but so far we have not received any response.” He further mentioned that he was looking at Bihar, Punjab and Delhi and other Central Indian States.
As of now, DataWind has two lakh handsets ready to be sold to customers, and more will be made depending on the demand in the future. “Our target customers are students and other people living in two-tier and three-tier cities. There are smart phones available for even Rs. 5,000, but a majority of people spend less than that on new purchases,” pointed out Mr. Tuli. He added that his company has also set up 435 franchise service centres in several cities, apart from adding new call centres in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Chennai and Kolkata.