Post demonetisation, after the scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, there has been a surge in the digital transactions. However, people in rural areas are still lagging behind to convert to digital way attributed to the high cost of smartphones. The government has acknowledged the problem and realized that cashless economy will not be possible unless affordable devices are made available to people living in rural areas.
Recently government organized a meeting held by NitiAyog to convey the same to the handset makers. Big players like Apple and Samsung did not attend the meeting. The meeting was attended by Local handset makers like Micromax, Intex, Lava and Karbonn.The government has asked the local handset makers to make low- cost smartphones available to the masses, that facilitate digital transactions. The Government has not contacted Chinese manufacturers for this project.
The government made it clear that they won't subsidize the low-cost phones. Instead, it wants the companies to come up with a probable solution for making Low-cost devices and wants the phone makers to release 20-25 million handsets into the market. Making a low-end phone that contains adequate features for digital transactions like a fingerprint scanner, high-quality processors is quite challenging and needs to be addressed before the launch of the project.
Currently 3G handsets are coming at starting price of 2500 and to procure 4G devices more extra money has to be shelled out. Mostly people in rural areas posseess basic phone models and tend to avoid using smartphones because of its cost and delicate build quality. So the handset makers have to come up rather innovative solutions to crave the needs of people with out compromising on the build quality.