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Will Android One be able to grab No. 1 position in Indian market?

October 13, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments
Android One smartphones launched in India on 15th September 2014 as cheap Android smartphones.

Android One smartphones launched in India on 15th September 2014 as cheap Android smartphones.

Google might be ready to spend more than Rs. 100 crore with its partners on advertising and marketing of its cheap Android One handsets in India, but in the market that might not guarantee its success.

According to a report from the market research firm, IDC “despite significant marketing spend already in evidence on Android One, India will be a tough crucible for Google.”

Though it seems a bit non-convincing, it might happen that Google could find it difficult in India to make a mark with the Android One. We do have few reasons that makes us speculate that apart from Google others do have great handsets to offer at lower prices.

When Google will invest in marketing of Android One will competitors stay quiet? Samsung would pump around 100-120 crores and Apple is expected to pump in 70-80 crore along with its two telecom partners, Reliance and Airtel. READ – Diwali Drive: INR 300 crore will be send by Apple, Samsung, Google on ads

Check out other competitors as well –

The tough competition

– Google in handset business faces immense competition from Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple iPhones, Mozilla and other low-cost handset manufacturers like Datawind.

– Samsung has already announced low-cost Tizen based handsets before Diwali this year (Note that these will not be powered by Android OS but by Samsung’s own Tizen OS).

– Xiaomi is already creating huge waves in the Indian market. It is selling the INR 5,999 RedMi 1S like hot cake, most of the time going out in few seconds in flash sale.

– Now that Motorola has already made a mark in the market with Moto E, X and G – they will not be Google phones, right? Soon Motorola will be going to the Lenovo shed, there is no reason that Lenovo does not continue the successful Moto journey onwards. These handsets will also compete with the Android One and Nexus phones.

– There are Intex, Micromax, Videocon, Idea, Lava, Karbonn, Celkon, Spice and Datawind already launching handsets worth INR 5,000 or less in the market. Compares to the INR 6,300 of higher for the Android One, they are cheaper. And given the fact that they would want to stay in the competition, higher version of Android OS is expected in these devices.

– We haven’t heard more about Mozilla handsets making it big in the market, but theses UBR 2K handsets are great option for a person considering shifting from feature phone to ‘smart’phone and not interested in investing a big amount on a phone.

– Though iPhone is yet to come to India, it will definitely grab the top position because of its premium brand value. We are yet not aware of mobile service providers linked-schemes on the iPhones yet, since these are not officially launched and are on pre-order status now. Once launched, Apple might make it available on-contract, making these cheaper/ affordable and luring in quite a few people to buy the handsets. (Apple announced partnership with Airtel and Aircel at the time of global launch on 9th September this year. Later Reliance Communications also figured in the list of partners)

– Even Microsoft is also not planning to sit quite, the company recently acquired Nokia Windows handset manufacturer and is planning to go more aggressive in the Indian market.

Will the market change?

Android One will “effectively create a bipolar “pear shaped” environment where the high end will be dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung with their iPhone and Galaxy flagship devices; and the low end will increasingly converge around the $100 Average Selling Price (ASP) benchmark,” says IDC.

Competitors offer better specs at similar (or lower) price point which could be a reason why we are not getting reports on lakh and lakh of Android One handsets getting sold in India.

Also consider the fact that, Android One handsets are offered by the same handset manufacturers who are selling cheap Android handsets in India. Google only offers hardware recommendations and software, but these are not ‘made by Google’, which might come as a minus to the Android One handsets.

We agree with the IDC speculation that Android One will polarize the already bi-polar OS market (which is the case even today with Android and iOS being the two domination OS competitors), but will find it difficult to make it huge in the market. May be with the next version of the Android One handsets that are expected to come with better specs, we would see some change. We told this to you early in September, didn’t we? READ – A lookback at the journey of Google and challenges it is facing today!

READ the complete story : For Google Android One India Will Be A Competitive Terrain, Says IDC

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