Creo, the Indian smartphone startup that has been popping in and out of the limelight ever since it announced its intentions to release devices with uniquely modified Android platforms, has finally released a promotional video. The video gives us our first look at Creo’s upcoming, maiden smartphone, that is being called the Mark 1.
The video focuses mainly on the platform powering these devices and keeps mysteriously mum on hardware specifications. That Hardware isn’t likely to be the most important thing about Mark 1, is something reaffirmed time and again and the video just strengthens the notion. Sri Srinivas, the founder of the company, while speaking with TechCrunch, also stressed the fact that neither are the rumors floating around — associated with the hardware Creo is putting into its devices — substantial, nor will the company be competing on electronics.
The company believes that hardware has reached a point where it has ceased to play the role of a significant differentiator. As per Srinivas,
Everyone else boosts the same hardware, cameras, processors. There’s no point in doing that anymore.
Instead, the company will be making regular — and significant — changes to its platform making Mark 1 users will feel like they “get a new phone every month”.
That’s why we believe our philosophy is very, very valid, because at the end of the day, the user is not going to see the hardware. They will see the software and the more the user can get from the software month after month, the more attached they will be.
The software installed upon Creo’s devices will be its USP. And the company believes that it will be enough to differentiate it from the others. The OS packed into Creo devices will instead focus upon improving the user experience, by reducing data consumption, enhancing security and app performance and so on.
What’s more, regular feedback from the users will form the crux of the updates provided by the company — going a lot towards the Cyanogen way.
The strategy is somewhat similar to those deployed by Cyanogen and Xiaomi. Creo however will be working at a level deeper than merely the user interface and will be creating unique features, at the OS level.
We will stick as close to Android’s stock UI as possible. The idea is to build functional features that no other smartphone has. We will introduce features that MIUI or stock Android and even Cyanogen don’t have.
While the company will of course be launching its own devices running its operating system, Creo’s main aim is to capture the attention of manufacturer and start licensing its software to them.
Tweaking the software to match the need of the customer you are targeting — the idea is certainly good. Investors seemed to be suitably impressed by the brand new approach as well and the company has recently raised $3 million. Backers of Creo include significant names, including Sequoia India, Beenext Ventures, and India Quotient.
Well, let’s wait for the Mark 1. Meanwhile, the company has decided to withhold the price details the pending tax laws are finalized by the government, although the devices are expected to cost somewhere between $100-$400.