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Google Android One bet to sweep Indian Smartphone Market

Feb 23, 2015
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The market for cheap smartphones is mushrooming!! The last few months have witnessed a mid-range and low-end revolution in India, with the arrival of the Xiaomi and OnePlus phones. Equally, the announcement of upcoming smartphones from Motorola have attracted the common man, who are launching smartphones models Redmi 1S and Moto E costing $115 and $99 respectively. Mozilla’s Firefox OS is here too with a low-cost smartphone at $33, lowering the price threshold for smartphones. With smartphone leader Samsung conceding ground to rivals, the stage is set for any manufacturer keen to take the initiative to sweep the Indian market. Inquisitively though, it’s not the vendors that have the biggest plans for such a sweep, but Google India itself.

The firstnews of this year's from Google I/O conference is a new initiative that the company calls Android One. The smartphone program endeavors to provide a unified feature set tailored-made for the market the phone is debuting in, hoping to eradicate some of the pitfalls such as longevity and performance as well. If Google ensures to build both a quality and low-priced featured phones, it'll be a huge step towards changing the experience of budget smartphones and reaching the mass across the globe!

Android One is supposed to launch this fall (15th September) in India. Three manufacturers —Karbonn Mobile, Micromax and Spice Mobile Group — are the first to sign up for Google's Android One initiative. Moreover, it’s exciting to know that the first smartphone to be part of the Android One comes from Micromax, one of the most prevalent smartphone brands in India.

Hitherto, in response to Google touted pricing factor of hoping to deliver a solid smartphone experience for < $100, the local media and citing manufacturing sources have said that may be too ambitious and the phones could be priced between $116 and $165.

As of now, there aren't many details on what these phones will look like, but Google did detail a little about Micromax's smartphone. The Micromax smartphone from Android One will cost under $100 - cheaper than the Motorola Moto E. It also packs a 4.5" display, though Sundar Pichai stated neither its resolution nor further specifications. It'll also have dual-SIM support, a micro SD card slot and FM radio.

One of the key factors about these budget phones that we do know, however, is that Google has a lot of control over their software, so they'll all be running on the most recent Android release, as Google will push updates to those phones similar to the way it handles GPE devices.

It is also believed that these upcoming Android One phones won't come with the heavy customization that Samsung and other phone makers using the Android operating system provide. These phones would cater more default settings for Google products and less competition from rival search engines and other app stores.

Well, this program is likely to be a huge deal for Google as it tries to expand Android's reach. Thus, Google auxiliary move of adapting the polar opposite strategy of Apple, that is gearing up the release of the iPhone 6, (~$700) at one end and pressurizing Samsung for higher-quality low-cost smartphones at the other, will be worth watching to see…

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