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3 Reasons Why IDC Says Android One Will Find It Tough In India

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Last weekend, IDC predicted that India would be a tough market for Android One but conformed the fact that it is vital for Google’s expansion plans in Asia.

The research firm said, “Despite significant marketing spend already in evidence on Android One, IDC believes India will be a tough crucible for Google.”.

Meanwhile, highlighting the importance of Android One for the Internet giant, the firm said, “Blocked out of China, Google has no choice but to make a large downstream investment in the next billion consumer segment in India.”

As per the findings of IDC, Google needs proper attention of the ever-expanding Asian market to drive traffic to it’s applications and services, and to drive more engagement. As per the statement released by the research firm, the sale of Android One would be significant in the coming days, Google should promote it more aggressively.

Android One India

Android One is a new standard created by Google for Android devices, which has some strict guidelines for the manufacturer. Mainly targeted for first time smartphone users, and for those who are looking at handsets around the $100 budget, Android One was announced during the Google I/O 2014 keynote presentation by Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai.

Initially, they have partnered with Indian manufacturers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to roll out Android One enabled devices in India. As per reports, Google have allocated a budget of Rs 6000 crore ($1 billion) to market this new platform, and have already made their plans of expanding into other emerging Asian markets such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Philippines.

Despite such stellar plans of making Android One really big, there exists several challenges in marketing the product. Although the research by IDC didn’t expand on the specific problems which can be faced by Google in increasing the market share of Android One, we have researched and found out the three main issues which can hamper it’s growth:

Quality

There are around 800 million Indians who don’t have a smartphone, and Google is trying to capture this huge untapped market for its expansion in Asia. The price and the quality guidelines created by Google for Android One looks good on paper, but practically, the handsets which have been launched doesn’t match up the expectations. Even for a non-smartphone user.

For example, Spice Dream Uno, which is one of the handsets supporting Android One looks way too similar to other Android One devices such as Micromax Canvas A1 and Karbonn Sparkle V. As reviewers from Rediff found out, the touch quality of the screen and color variation on the display is pathetic, and poor. Cheap handset doesn’t always mean cheap specifications; and this is exactly what is happening with Android One.

Price:

Although Android One is being marketed as low cost Android phones, the interesting thing is that there already exists several models which are way cheaper than Android One, and provided by the same manufacturer. The price of three handsets which have been launched as of now are:

On the other hand, there are hundreds of cheap and good Android smartphones, which are right now available for under Rs 4000. The price sensitive Indian buyer definitely knows how to find the right bargain!

Competition Within:

Insiders have said that manufacturers are not happy with the strict guidelines ‘imposed’ by Google for those manufacturers who are using Android One. And revolt may soon be inevitable.

Take for example Karbonn. Under Android One, they launched Sparkle V which is being sold for Rs 6399. Being part of the Android One platform, they have followed all the rules laid out by Google. Now, they have also launched Titanium S20, which has almost similar features and looks, but have mainstream Android and costs only Rs 4999. A first time smartphone buyer, if presented with both of these options, will definitely choose Titanium S20 instead of Sparkle V, and this is a practical problem for the Android One team.

The plan and the intention of Google, with respect to Android One sounds perfect. But the execution seems the hardest part. We will keep a close tab on the developments of Android One, and will update you on how they plan to overcome the challenges.

  1. Himanshu Shrivastava says

    Project is quite impressive, although could have been far superior if applied with some more established companies like samsung.

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