Yesterday, Micromax launched a new smartphone brand, Yu. The devices sold under this name will be offered online only. In addition, the big news is a strategic partnership with Cyanogen Inc., the makers of CyanogenMod ROMs for Android phones. This means that, the new device brand Yu, will have devices running Android customised by CynogenMod with some local content additional software packaged.
Micromax and Cyanogen have been in dialogue for the past one year, under the Project Yureka. Project Yureka was conceptualised to engage directly with consumers and bring innovations that solve consumer problems, not just software or hardware upgrades and is taking the shape of a new brand YU. The YU brand, owned by YU Televentures is a wholly owned subsidiary of Micromax Informatics and products associated with it will be sold online only. This might be used by Micromax as a unique selling point for the new brand.
“This will be a game changer not just in India but globally too. Yu has been envisioned for building an ecosystem of connected devices and offer customised experience to users. We strongly feel that Cyanogen is the right partner to help us deliver a differentiated experience in the mobile ecosystem, we are together committed to challenge the limits of possibility and create a new world.” Micromax co founder Rahul Sharma
Micromax is also a partner with Google on the Android One project to make affordable Android phones that do not compromise on performance. For Micromax, this partnership with Cyanogen could result in mid-range phones that run a highly optimized version of Android with the promise of continuous software improvements through updates.
However, there is no clear word whether we will see a premium phone offered under the Yu umbrella. The first Yu handset is apparently going to be made official sometime next month. The brand will engage directly with end users, providing them with boot-loader access to help them come up with software upgrades that they want on their phones. Micromax also confirms that it will accept the warranty for Yu phones even if they’re rooted. Considering the fact, the OnePlus One is going to make its official release in India next month, it would be interesting to watch the CynogenMod adoptions increase in this part of the world.