T-Series has launched a ”Bhakti Sagar Phone”, preloaded with various religious content with over 165 different Aartis, Bhajans and Shabads in nine different languages, and a scheduler allowing the phone owner to listen to content at a suitable time and date of their convenience – for example, ‘Shiv Bhajans for Monday, ‘Hanuman Bhajans’ for Tuesday etc. Apart from this, the phone has Yoga apps, and a religious game ‘Makhan Chor’. The phone has been made available on HomeShop 18 at a price of  Rs 2999  along with a free 2GB memory card. Bhakti Sagar is a dual sim phone which has all the basic  features including radio, Bluetooth,1.3 megapixel camera  and video recording that supports multiple formats like mp4,3GP and AVI. In the past, Airtel has launched Live Aarti targeting devotional consumers, as has Aircel. Loop had introduced mantras and panchang with Spice and RCom offering various relegious content like Gurbaani,Geeta Sar, Art of Living Sermons and others.

T-Series is primarily a music label, but with the company also getting into the handset game, has the opportunity to provide niche-customised phones such as these. While there is a market for phones pushing Social Networking, one should not underestimate the devotional market in India. Religion is pervasive in India, and for sections that use mobile handsets primarily for receiving and making calls, easy to use features, coupled with devotional content could well be a key differentiator. It just needs to be marketed well. Particularly in the devotional content market, T-Series is uniquely positioned.

Devotional content is ‘evergreen’, unlike Bollywood music, which does get pirated. In the past, T-Series has attempted to sell USB drives with music pre-loaded. Nokia also markets handsets with its ‘Comes with music’ service in India, but that requires connectivity.

Note: we haven’t tried the handset, but the idea behind the phone is interesting.