Flipkart is looking to enter the mobile phones business once again. Its private label MarQ has now received Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) approval for mobile phones. These would be made by two manufacturers, documents show. Forme Communications Technology and Advantage Computers India are the firms, based in Haryana and Delhi, respectively, according to data from BIS.
MarQ will have both feature phones and budget smartphones in a market dominated by Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Realme. This comes nearly three years after Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal had entered the smartphone space with Flipkart’s own mobile devices under the brand ‘Billion’.
But that did not take off and the brand has seen a diminished presence after Bansal’s exit from the e-tailer following Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart in 2018. A Flipkart spokesperson did not respond to TOI’s query.
Flipkart’s private label MarQ currently sells TVs, microwave ovens, washing machines and ACs. Typical to the nature of in-house labels, these products are 10-20% cheaper compared to competitive established brands in the space.
One of the feature phones under MarQ is priced at less than Rs 2,000 according to current listings on the platform, which have tagged it as ‘out of stock’. Its smartphones are expected to be budget brands. Bansal’s Billion smartphones were priced in the range of Rs 11,000-15,000.
Analysts at research firms like Counterpoint have said a price range of around Rs 15,000 is the ‘sweet spot’ for Indian consumers. Counterpoint data of the quarter ending June showed Amazon India had surpassed Flipkart in smartphone sales for the first time, but the latter had more than 50% share in devices priced under Rs 10,000.