Google is coming out with new affordable smartphones that will definitely bring a smile on the face of thousands of people who have not been able to enjoy the true android experience on their cheap smartphones. The Android One devices have made it easier for consumers in the Indian market to own a Google powered device. It is obvious that Google will provide its full support to smartphone manufacturers to come out with sub-3000 rupees phones with relatively good and reliable performance.
As reported in the Financial Times, Google wants to push their sub-Rs. 3000 devices in India. This initiative would form the central point of the massive investment drive that will be done by the tech giant to ‘to increase internet access and develop new products suitable for the country’s potentially vast internet market’. India is a lucrative emerging market which has a huge population of first time smartphone users. Targeting these first-time users will not only ensure a continued relationship and preference for Google’s products, but also help the company in building new businesses linked to its Android mobile operating system.
Rajan Anandan, managing director in India and Southeast Asia, told the Financial Times that although the Android One program has struggled to survive post launch in India, Google has remained committed to the program. “The much-hyped mobile standard had not delivered to expectations,” admitted Mr. Anandan. “It is like any company when you try to launch a new initiative – we had a few hiccups.” The reasons for not meeting expectations was cited to be issues in the supply chain which led to the shortage of the phones. Most of these devices are imported from China and it was important to have a strong supply chain to meet the demands.
Consumers in India have been predominantly cost conscious and this is why Google is targeting at this particular segment where price preferences lie between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000. This will not be a miraculous overnight occurrence. It will take some time to bring high quality features at such low prices. Google has some major plans up its sleeves to boost the market in the country. The company is developing more products which would be suitable for the segment Indian customers who do not have access to very fast internet connection. Google is also in the process of coming up with a very-large scale investment plan that would bring ‘bring tens of millions of small businesses online’. The content for all initiatives would be developed to suit the segment of Indians who do not have English as their first language.
Google might not be winning the local-search war, but its efforts are directed at realizing long term benefits and not securing a large share of the online domain right now. As Mr. Anandan righlty shared, “we’re here really because 10 years from now a billion Indians will be online and when we have a billion Indians online we think that’s going to make a huge difference to the global internet economy.” Even if you don’t agree with the directions of Google, you would definitely be happy about possessing a Google powered device in less than Rs. 3000.
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