Flipkart may soon be reentering the mobile phone business as the company’s brand
MarQ receives approval from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The new MarQ
feature phone is listed on Flipkart’s platform for under ₹2,000, as reported by Economic
This may pit Flipkart and Reliance Jio against each other in the budget phone market as
Reliance, in collaboration with Google, is expected to launch Android-based Jio
smartphones for ₹4,000.
Currently, the specifications of Flipkart’s feature phones listed on its website show
nothing but basic features of the device. “It (MarQ phone) is rumoured to be a low-
budget device with a physical keypad,” Debayan Roy, a tech enthusiast and tipster, told
The Electronics. “Though not confirmed, it is said to have a rugged-type design that will
be targeted to a lower budget-centric market.”
And yet tech enthusiasts believe that even if these brands compete, Jio will win hands
down. The rumoured pricing could be a competing factor for the brand. But tech experts
say MarQ may still not gain an upper hand in this battle since Jio phones, which already
exist in the market, cost as low as ₹1,500 with a 4G connectivity and the new range is
speculated to offer Android OS in the handset.
“The listing shows the phones as 2G, which may not be able to compete with Jio’s
existing mobiles that have 4G connectivity,” Sumukh Rao, a tech blogger, told The
The MarQ phones will be manufactured by Forme Communications Technology and
Advantage Computers India, which are based in Haryana and Delhi.
“A brand like MarQ is not as famous as Jio. Even with increased online purchasing from
e-commerce websites due to the pandemic, it may not gain as much popularity as the
Jio mobile phones in that range,” said Roy. “It can compete in the market if priced well,
but not sure if they will be successful.”
The tech blogger thinks Flipkart may want to cater to an entirely different audience like
the Nokia feature phones. However, he said, Nokia’s brand value and price may still
beat MarQ. “With India’s rural population getting better internet connectivity and the
onset of 5G, I don’t think MarQ will stand a chance, unless they are not competing with
Jio at all,” added Rao.
Flipkart had entered the mobile phone market in 2017 with its Billion Capture Plus
mobiles introduced by co-founder Sachin Bansal. However, the smartphones did not
perform well. MarQ has a series of other home appliances like TVs, washing machines,
and microwaves on the market priced 10%-20% cheaper than its competitive brands.