|Founded||29 March 2000; 16 years ago|
|Headquarters||Gurgaon, Haryana, India|
|Revenue||US$2.1 billion (2015)|
|US$100 million (2014)|
Micromax is an Indian consumer electronics company headquartered in Gurgaon, Haryana. The company was established as an IT software company operating in the embedded devices domain; it later entered the mobile handset business. By 2010, it was one of the largest domestic companies making handsets in the low-cost feature phone segment in India. As of Q3 2014, Micromax was the tenth largest smartphone vendor in the world. In Q4 2015, Micromax's shipments fell by 12.1%, against growth of 15.4% for the mobile sector. Micromax's share of the smartphone market fell to 13% in Q4 2015 from 22% at its peak in 2014. The company is facing stiff competition from Chinese companies entered in the Indian market.
Micromax was incorporated as Micromax Informatics Ltd. on 29 March 2000. It started selling mobile telephones in 2008, focusing on low pricing to compete with international brands. Micromax's co-founder Rahul Sharma once saw a public call office being powered by a truck battery because of frequent power cuts in its locale. It prompted him to launch a feature telephone with an extended battery life. Micromax launched X1i, its first telephone with a month-long battery back-up. In 2014, Micromax's sales exceeded those of Samsung to become the mobile telephone manufacturer shipping the most telephones in one quarter in India. On 24 January 2014, Micromax became the first Indian mobile company to start sales in Russia. As on 10 April 2016, Micromax announced a strategic partnership with digital payments company TranServ and global payments technology major Visa to offer the next generation of payments solutions in India.
In 2010, Micromax entered the tablet computer market with the Funbook series. Micromax launched its first eight-core flagship smartphone, Canvas Knight A350, in January 2014 in Russia. In the same year, Micromax launched the Android One smartphone, Canvas A1. In November 2014, Micromax partnered with Cyanogen Inc. to provide Cyanogen-based smartphones in India, under the brand name YU.
On 17 June 2015, Micromax launched Micromax Canvas Sliver 5, which it claimed was the slimmest telephone in the world. While most of Micromax's smartphones run the Android OS, the company also markets smartphones that operate Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1. The company is an official Windows Phone 8.1 hardware partner; it launched two Windows Phone handsets, the Micromax Canvas Win W092 and the Micromax Canvas Win W121, in June 2014.
On 8 June 2015, Micromax announced the launch of Micromax Amaze 2. The device has a 5-inch IPS display with resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The smartphone is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad core Snapdragon processor with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage.
On 27 June 2016, Micromax announced the launch of Micromax Canvas Unite 4 and Canvas Unite 4 Pro. Both these smartphones run on Indus OS 2.0. The Canvas Unite 4 is powered by a 1.0 GHz quad-core processor which is coupled with 1 GB RAM. Coming to the Micromax Canvas Unite 4 Pro, it has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor under the hood which is paired with 2 GB RAM.
On 5 August 2016, Micromax launched the Canvas Unite 4 Plus in India. The device is powered by MediaTek MT6735P quad-core processor which is clocked at 1.1 GHz. The processor is paired with 2 GB RAM and is backed by Mali-T720 GPU. Other specifications include 5-inch HD display, 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera, 2500 mAH battery and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Micromax started manufacturing LED televisions and tablets at its factory in Rudrapur (SIDCUL), Uttarakhand, in April 2014. As of August 2015, Micromax was set to start a ₹500 crore (US$74 million) manufacturing plant in Rajasthan's Alwar district after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Rajasthan government and Bhagwati Products Ltd. The company also plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Hyderabad with an investment of about ₹400 crore (US$59 million) to ₹500 crore (US$74 million).
Actors Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna were the first celebrities to endorse Micromax Mobiles. Hugh Jackman is the brand ambassador of Micromax and appeared in a commercial in 2013 for its first flagship smartphone, the Canvas Turbo A250 and for the Canvas 4 and Canvas Sliver 5. In July 2013, actor Chitrangada Singh posed for the Canvas 4 smartphone in New Delhi. Hugh Jackman the Global Hollywood icon is now the Brand Ambassador for the Micromax Canvas range of Smartphones. A first of its kind Hollywood actor roped in by any Indian Brand in 2013.
Micromax co-founder Rajesh Agarwal and his associate Manish Tuli were caught bribing officials of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation with ₹30 lakh (US$45,000) for regularising an unauthorised property. This forced Agarwal to step down as the CEO of Micromax; he remained in the CBI's custody for seven days.
Antitrust and patent litigation
In March 2013, Ericsson sued Micromax for infringement of Ericsson's eight patents registered in India that were essential to the 2G and 3G standards. The Delhi High Court ordered Micromax to pay royalty amounts to Ericsson based on the percentages of the net selling prices of the devices incorporating 2G and 3G standards. Around the time that Ericsson filed its patent infringement suit, Micromax filed a concurrent complaint with the Competition Commission of India (CCI), alleging that Ericsson had abused its allegedly dominant position by imposing exorbitant royalties for the use of its SEPs, thus violating the Competition Act 2002. As of February 2016, the CCI had yet to issue a final determinative ruling on the basis of Micromax's allegations.
In late 2014, New Delhi High Court ruled that sales of the OnePlus One smartphone are blocked in India because Cyanogen OS signed an exclusive deal to sell Micromax mobile telephones only in India, although One Plus One had a worldwide licensing deal. This move was seen as a monopoly to stem the sales of One Plus One and other smartphone brands. However, the High Court lifted the ban, allowing One Plus One to be sold in India as the licensing deals with Cyanogen are different for both parties.
Stealthy installation of Adware
In early 2015, a Reddit user found adware installing itself stealthily on his/her Micromax A093 Canvas Fire telephone without permission. The adware was also using excess telephone resources such as data, memory storage, and battery life. Further investigations by the XDA community found the advertisements were created by Adups, an AdPush company based in China.
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