Move over Apple and Google, the next smartphone to make buzz in India could be from superstar Salman Khan — or that’s the plan.
The 51-year-old Bollywood actor’s Being Human charity is planning to launch a range of smartphones in India, reports the Economic Times.
Khan recently registered the BeingSmart trademark for smartphones and has hired executives from Samsung and local giant Micromax to head the phone operations, the report added.
According to the report, the first batch of smartphones will be priced under $300 and will try to rival offerings of Chinese companies Xiaomi, and Oppo.
Smartphones priced under $300 dominate the market in the country, according to research firm Counterpoint. Lenovo, Xiaomi and other Chinese players have been increasingly offering smartphones with high-end specifications, often times similar to those of flagship smartphones by Samsung and LG at half, if not a third the price point.
Salman Khan’s imminent entry to the smartphone business, who launched his first mobile app late last year, underscores an interest from Bollywood stars who have explored using their influence in technology areas.
In addition to endorsing several tech and other products and brands, some stars have launched products under their own brands. Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty last year launched a range of smartphones, too, for instance.
But analysts believe that smartphones aren’t a good area for these big profile celebrities to put their money on. “We don’t think it’s a wise move as this industry is driven by innovation rather than just sourcing,” Tarun Pathak, a senior analyst at marketing research firm Counterpoint, said.
“Smartphone market is already competitive and margins are super thin. In such a scenario entering this segment without prior experience is not a wise move. Brand value can give an initial momentum but only experience and product is going to have a final say,” he added.