Indian handset maker, Karbonn Mobiles has launched a push mail solution, powered by Emoze, an Israeli firm that offers push email service to mobile phones, on its newly launched feature phone, KT-21 Express. Interestingly, the company has also introduced a PIN based real time text messages application, similar to BlackBerry Messenger, on the phone.
The push mail solution would enable users to access both enterprise and personal email accounts, synchronize email contacts and calendar, view office attachments, send voice messages via email and chat in real-time with their contacts, according to Karbonn. The service would allow users to configure email accounts across services like Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, GMail, Outlook, and POP3/IMAP, on their devices. The instant messaging application would also offer access to Facebook chat and Google Talk, according to the company.
Is Push Mail Still A USP? By introducing these features, it looks like the company is trying to reach out to prospective BlackBerry buyers, who’re on a budget, since the phone is priced at Rs 4490 and offers a touch screen in addition to a normal keypad. We’re not sure if people will buy a feature phone for a proprietary messaging platform, when cross platform messaging apps like WhatsApp are becoming increasingly popular. Also, the device will face a challenge from RIM’s BlackBerry, which is rolling out new phones keeping the budget user in mind, and commands a good share of the Indian handset market (atleast in terms of shipments). It’s also running an aggressive marketing and advertising campaign. However, the additional costs involved, make it an expensive proposition. Also, with Android phones which feature a built-in e-mail client and out of the box push Gmail, hitting the Rs 5,000 price point, we don’t think push mail is a USP, any longer.
Karbonn is not the first one to roll out a push mail solution. Last year, Micromax, another Indian OEM, had launched EzMail, a push mail service, which is powered by Peek, the same company which had started selling Email only devices through Aircel. Nokia also offers a push mail service on its feature phones and smart phones. besides these, there are players like Bharat Berry which also offer a push mail solution. Emoze had also tied-up with Tulip Telecom for a push mail service to reach out to business users in India, in 2009.