Former Apple CEO Sculley to head efforts for Obi smartphone brand in India

Posted on Apr 18 2014 - 9:48am by Huzoor Bux

Former Apple CEO John Sculley has launched a replacement low-cost smartphone complete known as Obi in India.

At costs ranging between Rs 6000 and Rs 8000, Sculley hopes that Obi’s phones will lure premium phone consumers off from players like Samsung and Apple, and take the fight to local giants like Micromax and Karbonn.

Samsung dominates India’s smartphone market by sales currently, followed by Sony and Apple.

Former Apple CEO Sculley to head efforts for Obi smartphone brand in India

Sculley can invest around $twenty million through Singapore primarily based Inflexionpoint, with the idea to grow the business to $1 billion in simply 2 years, CNBV-TV18 reported.

Sculley, who was the CEO at Apple between 1983 and 1993 and was reportedly also the man who fired Steve Jobs, can fund the venture.

He now hopes to sell at least 1,000,000 units and turn profitable in the first five months of operation in India.

Sculley is wanting at margins of around 20% due to a very frugal expense model.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC-TV18, Sculley said the smartphones can be bundled with price-added services. However, he did not elaborate on the type of services being offered.

“I am very bullish on India and will continue to take a position here,” he said.

Obi can be led by former head of Micromax’s smartphone division, Ajay Sharma.

The Economic Times had earlier reported that Vishal Sopory will be named because the CEO of Iris Computers , the corporate responsible for the distribution of the Obi phones in India.

In 1983, Sculley was brought in as CEO by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to steer the fledgling tech company through the launch of the Macintosh however Sculley and Jobs suffered a fallout over product strategy.

Jobs later claimed he was fired from Apple while Sculley said Jobs was demoted and he resigned soon when. However in a historic flip of events, Jobs came back in the mid-1990s to resurrect Apple from close to bankruptcy to make it the telecom behemoth it’s nowadays.

One of the globe’s top smartphone makers, Apple operates in India but has failed to make important inroads into the local smartphone market where Korean rival Samsung may be a top player with a market share of 37 percent.

Smartphones are immensely fashionable in India with a 172.2% year-on-year growth. But it’s still small compared with China, that, at only fifty p.c more subscribers encompasses a 10 times bigger portable business.