Google is trying again with its cut-price smartphone project Android One. The new push from the U.S. firm into India’s Internet market will include delivering $50 devices as a part of its “massive” investment plans.
Google’s new plans
Rajan Anandan, managing director in India & Southeast Asia, told The Financial Times, that the new plan for Android One will be released in “the next few weeks.” Though not many details are known for now, the plan does include hitting the “sweet spot” of $50 smartphones.
Anandan acknowledged that though the Android One has “not delivered to expectations” so far, the firm is “very committed” to the initiative, and the new plan will be unveiled soon. Apart from the $50 smartphones, Google is also developing new apps and services to meet the needs of the Indian user, says Anandan.
“Strategically [India] is very, very important,” he added. “Don’t get me wrong, the revenue is interesting, but we’re here really because 10 years from now a billion Indians will be online,” Anandan told the FT.
Android One, which was launched last year, failed badly despite a major marketing push. With the initiative, Google hopes to get “the next billion” smartphone users, but it is believed that less than a million of the devices have been sold in India, which is the most-important market for Google’s Android One initiative. The project covers seven countries, including Turkey.
Why Android One is needed?
Android One has a goal to capture emerging internet market like India by delivering a low-cost smartphone, along with ensuring that Android’s latest version is within everyone’s reach. The search giant isn’t in the hardware industry, but provides a benchmark to ensure quality devices.
In addition, the search giant aims to have better control over the Android in the emerging markets with Android One. Google aims to challenge Chinese smartphone makers using a “forked” version of Android that do not have Google services installed. With the Android One, Google hopes to attract millions in the emerging markets towards pure Android devices and away the cheap Chinese alternatives.
We will just have to wait and see if the latest version of Android One will be able to make its mark in the emerging market as Google tales its second shot at the Indian market.