After weeks of rumors and speculations, John Sculley-backed Obi Mobile is finally launching in India, FoneArena is reporting. Based in Gurgaon and promoted by Inflexionpoint, which is an IT supply chain company co-founded by Apple’s former CEO, the new venture is headed by Ajay Sharma who used to reign at the helm of smartphone divisions in Micromax and HTC India, and Inflexionpoint’s Neeraj Chauhan.
Obi Mobiles plans to invest $20 million this year to set up the supply chain, design, and sales and aftersales centers in key cities across India. The company will launch “affordable smartphones with superior technology,” and if the sales kick-off, take it from there, expanding to other countries in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Latin America.
In order to make that happen, Obi will work with its subsidiaries Dragon Technology that has in-house design and testing capabilities, and Iris Computers which will provide the countrywide distribution network.
While this sounds nice on paper, we gotta add that Obi will face a stiff competition in India, facing both global players like Samsung, Huawei, HTC, LTE and LG; as well as number of local vendors such as Micromax, Karbonn and others. The first Obi phones are expected to be available in early May 2014.