First, the details. Earlier this week, on Wednesday, Hike launched a product called ‘Total, built by Hike’. Total is a version of the Android operating system, which the company claims to have “redefined for the next billion users”. In company speak, the app essentially would allow first-time smartphone users to “use the internet without data”. Hike has partnered with three telecom companies (Airtel, Aircel and BSNL) and two of the major low-end smartphone manufacturers (Karbonn and Intex) for Total’s rollout.
At the press conference in New Delhi, Kavin Bharti Mittal, Hike founder & CEO said, “What we did was to take all of Hike’s features—messaging, content and services—and strip it down to less than an MB and embed it on the Android operating system.” In simple words, a first-time smartphone user, using Total, could chat, check cricket scores, read the news, make payments and check horoscopes, among other things.