Royal Philips Electronics is making an ultra low cost mobile handset, priced below (Rs 1000), for India and plans to launch the product sometime next year.
Cellphone with Philips' Nexperia platform is currently available in China with a wholesale price tag of 25 a piece. It is possible to bring its cost down to 20 next year, Philips Semiconductors CEO Frans van Houten said, responding to questions at a press conference in Bangalore.
He said an India-specific model is in the pipeline. "Chip set and software is ready. We are talking to Indian companies (for licensing out agreement)," van Houten said.
Referring to the activities of Semiconductors' R&D team at Philips Innovation Campus in Bangalore, he said: "We are working on cutting-edge 65nm SoC designs and libraries, IP modules and are investing heavily in our Nexperia Home and Mobile platforms using the skills of the India design team."
"Additionally, a large number of global design-ins for our DTV and advanced cell phone programmes are being supported from here," van Houten added.
According to him, PIC has emerged as a critical partner in the development of strategic and futuristic technologies for Philips worldwide.
The euro 30.3 billion Philips, Europe's largest electronics company, plans to introduce a cost-efficient LCD TV in the Indian market next year, van Houten said.
... to hire 900 more in India
Philips is also seeking to carry out more research and development work in India and plans to hire nearly 900 professionals by 2007-end for the Philips Innovation Campus.
PIC had a headcount of 1,628 professionals as of last month and Houten said the plan is to ramp it up to 2,500 by December 2007.
PIC CEO Bob Hoekstra said one-third of Philips' software engineers are currently located in India.
PIC, set up in September 1996, develops embedded and application software for Philips products, design flows, chip IP and libraries and system design among others in the fields including consumer electronics, semiconductors and applied technologies.
Hoekstra said exports from PIC is expected to top Rs 366.4 crore (Rs 3.66 billion) in the current calendar year from Rs 261.2 crore (Rs 2.61 billion) in 2004.
Philips opened its new campus in Bangalore on Friday, heralding a stage-wise migration from its current location at Ulsoor to this upcoming 500,000 square feet state-of-the-art facility spread over 12.5 acres.