How cheap can a smartphone be in China right now? The answer might be RMB599 (USD 94). In fact this brand is the newest rising star in China’s smartphone market. Its debut was in April this year, and 50,000 handsets were sold out within the month. The number of second round sale racked up around 100,000. Kudos, time to check it out.

The brand is called Green Orange, and the company was set up in September 2011 in Shanghai. The first product launched in April was Green Orange Mars1, Android 2.3, 3.5 LCD, 256MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 3 MP camera, 1300 mAh battery, WIFI, Bluetooth, WLAN etc.  Not really eye-dazzling tech specs, but come on it only costs RMB599 and gets every basic feature to become a smartphone. In fact feedback from user experience was quite positive for what it is worth, described as “cute and neat”.

Now let me talk a little about its market strategy and vision here:

1)Low-end buyers are the starting point and driving force

Mars1 is more like a test stone of Green Orange. The vision is to push the penetration rate of smart phone in China at the lowest price as possible. No longer targeted at those trendy, white-collar consumers in 1st-2nd cities who often chase after Apple, Samsung, HTC, but about younger, grass-root, low-income consumers in 3rd-4th tier cities or even rural areas, because their wide adoption of Green Orange should help to build up its brand image. Actually this segment of Chinese consumers is often neglected.

2)Leveraging the online sale channel is the trick

More or less Green Orange is treading the footstep of Xiaomi (another China’s leading homegrown smartphone, though more than triple the price of Green Orange). It started everything via online sale, either its stand-alone e-store or partnership with prestigious B2C platform like Tmall, 360buy, Amazon. Again we witness another case to prove the importance of online marketing for smartphones.

In future, Green Orange intends to integrate both online and offline sale channels, while launching dual-core processor smartphoneat at much higher prices very soon. Sounds like a good plan, like any other players’ plan in this market. For me, I would still like to see it to have a firm grip on those low end buyers.


By Cécilia Wu
English & Chinese Editorial Manager