Micromax-backed YU wakes up from slumber, wants to ‘face-off’ with rivals
Micromax YU’s last phone, Yureka 2 ,was launched in September last year.
Indian mobile phone company Micromax is looking to resurrect its sub-brand YU. The company hasn't officially announced a new phone as yet but has revived the official Twitter handle of YU with a cryptic message stating, "It's time for a Faceoff! Are YU ready? #YUFaceOff." The previous tweet from the handle was posted in November last year.
That said, it has been almost one year since Micromax-backed YU announced a phone. The company launched Yureka 2 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor in September last year. The phone was priced at ₹11,999. The Yureka 2 then competed with the popular phones like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and Lenovo K8 Note.
YU's return from hibernation comes at a time when the budget smartphone market is dominated by Xiaomi which has also now extended its portfolio with its own sub-brand Poco. Xiaomi now offers phones between ₹5,999 and ₹29,999. In the premium segment, OnePlus is also increasing its position.
Just like Micromax, YU had vanished from the market after the entry of Xiaomi and several new players like Oppo and Vivo. Micromax last year dispelled rumours that it had decided to shut down YU brand.
As far as Micromax goes, the Indian handset company is making efforts to recapture its position in the Indian market. Until 2015, Micromax was a solid no. 2 player in the market and trailed Samsung. For instance, Micromax held 22% of the market during October-December 2014 quarter and even surpassed Samsung which had 20% market share, according to a Canalys report.
Currently, Micromax is fighting for the fifth position in the Indian market along with Honor, Nokia (HMD) and Lenovo (+Moto) brands. Another Indian mobile phone company in the fray is Lava, according to a Counterpoint report published in April this year.
Micromax's co-founder Rahul Sharma said in August last year that the company had taken a step back in order to observe how the market played out. "We will go back to our market share. This quarter we will take our volume leadership. After that, our quest is to capture the market share in the next two quarters," he had said.