Google Launches Android One In India Today

Google is all set to launch its first set of Android One smartphones in India in another few hours from now. They claim that the device will give the existing and new smartphone users as well as the internet users a high-end experience on smartphones at reasonable rates.

Android One was announced in June by Sundar Pichai, Google head for Android, Chrome web browser and apps. He had then promised during the meet that Android One will be a good smartphone experience indeed for all the new and existing users on low-cost devices as Google has decided to use minimum standards on hardware and software to be used by the new handset makers.

As per the reports, Spice, Karbonn and Micromax are the first three users to sell these devices to its customers. Google claims this to be a strategy adopted to sell the product in the market with a particular reach. Statistics say that only 29% of the 920 million mobile users own a smartphone. This is much low when compared to the smarphone users in China or the US, where it is at its peak level.

Google aims to deliver latest OS updates faster and reduce variations of the OS, which in turn will help them to update apps, by adopting Android One application in India. China’s Xiaomi and an improved version in Motorola are the main threats to Android devices at present. Xiaomi’s Red Mi 1S is priced at Rs.5999 and Moto E is priced at Rs.6999.

It has also been reported that each handset maker are expected to price the smartphones from Rs.6000 to Rs.7500. “It will be interesting to watch if they are able to maintain that Rs 6,000 price band or whether it will go to Rs 7,000 – Rs 7,500 since Google is also specifying the hardware,” said Karan Thakkar, senior market analyst- mobile phones and tablets at research firm IDC.

According to IDC research, smartphone sales in India doubled to 44 million in 2013. In the second quarter of 2014, 18.42 million smartphones were shipped. Samsung is the leader with 29 per cent market share followed by Micromax (18 percent), Karbonn (8 percent) and Lava (6 percent).

Google says that they have chosen India as their first market to launch Android One only because the smarphone users in India are increasing at a great pace. One of the biggest advantages of Android One is that it will help Google to reach the next billion users. Google says the new smartphones will have multi-lingual capabilities to help its users from different parts of the country to use text or Internet browsing in local languages including Hindi. Thus, users will not have to download any external application to access their smartphone in Hindi.

As a support, telecom operators including Airtel and e-commerce firms like Flipkart and Amazon are said to be a part of Android One strategy, which will be launched today, in a few hours. Airtel is supposed to announce new data plans for the new device as well. It was said that Spice, Lava and Micromax will deliver their handsets exclusively through sites Amazon and Flipkart. But, now Snapdeal has also entered the screen. Flipkart will be launching Spice Android One Dream Uno, Amazon with Micromax Canvas A1 and Snapdeal will be launching Karbon Android One Sparkle V Blue. These are priced Rs.6299, Rs.6499 and Rs.6399 respectively.

According to reports, Google plans to make this a big deal indeed and has kept aside a sum of Rs.100 crores solely for advertising and marketing. The new device was featured on Flipkart two days before, claiming it to be sold exclusively on e-commerce sites. Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498 phone, priced at Rs 6,999 was featured on Flipkart which was later removed. A few more hours is now left for the launch. Rest of the details is yet to be out from 12pm.

Google Launches Android One In India Today by