India has more than 37 Million visually impaired citizens. Almost 50 % of them have this condition due to cataract and refractive visual impairment. This segment has often been ignored by most products and they do depend on others for their daily needs.
But now thanks to Intex the visually impaired can communicate on their own. Intex recently launched ‘Vision’ a phone for the visually impaired that has braille digits on its key pad and the keys call out the numbers while being pressed.
There is also a provision to store upto 4 emergency numbers, which can be accessed by pushing a button behind the phone.
In addition the phone has a toech, FM radio, MP 3 player and hearing aid ear piece.
For more on the technical specifications of the phone please visit the Fone Arena site here.
Now for my take on this new product.
I believe this would mark the beginning where the commercial companies would start targeting the section of the population with disabilities. This is an unexplored market in India and as this is a first of its kind product it should do well. So in my opinion this is a unique product and will help expand the market for this section of the society and for other manufacturers as well.
Launching this product with the National Association of the blind is a good idea as well. And ideally traditional distribution channels may not work. I would ideally look at hospitals like Narayana Nethralaya or Aravind Eye Hospital as an ideal partner to distribute these phones.
My other concern is the lack of traditional distribution channels in the rural hinterland, where these phones would be a boon for the visually impaired. So maybe exploring a tie up with an FMCG player should help ? I know it sounds ridiculous but just trying to think out of the box.
Finally the pricing seems to be perfect, at Rs 2,500 this is a affordable phone and should put the market size at roughly at Rs 92,500,000,000. That is assuming all of the visually impaired can afford a phone, which is going to be very unlikely.
So this is my opinion on this new product, would love to know your views on the same.