Sina Tech, 4/11/11
An industry source close to Shenzhen-based handset vendor G'Five Technology said yesterday that Nokia had filed a suit against the company for alleged IPR infringement in the design of a handset G'Five sells in the India market. Nokia's demands are not yet clear, but may well include limitations on G'Five handset sales in India.
According to figures from market research firm IDC, a total of 38.6 mln mobile phones were shipped to India last year, 10.6% of which came from G'Five, making it the second largest supplier behind Nokia. Sources involved in the Indian mobile phone trade believe that India is the company's single largest overseas market, accounting for about 45% of its overall sales.
When contacted for confirmation yesterday, G'Five's deputy GM of international markets Quan Ou denied the reports, and as of press time Nokia had not responded to requests for comment.
According to publicly available data, G'Five transitioned to an OEM business model in or around 2006, and in late 2007 began selling its self-branded G'Five handsets in overseas markets like India and Dubai.
A mobile industry insider in Shenzhen said that the company's strategy was to ship extremely low-cost handsets in large quantities.
Sun Wenping, the acting deputy director of the Shenzhen Mobile Communications Association, said G'Five was China's largest mobile phone company after ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ) in terms of shipments - and that the sole reason for its relative obscurity in China was its focus on overseas markets.
Many Shenzhen industry insiders involved in overseas sales estimate that since last year, G'Five has exported monthly shipments of 2 mln to 3 mln handsets. Figures from Gartner indicate that in Q1 and Q2 of last year, G'Five's overall shipments were in the top ten globally.