Monday, August 10, 2015

Google is fixing Android One by launching Rs 3,000 smartphones

Remember Android One? It was a Google's cheap smartphone line for "the next five billion." It launched in India last year and quickly expanded to more countries, but somewhere along the way, it lost steam.

Now, Google's trying to reboot it. In an interview to the Financial Times, Google's managing director in India and Southeast Asia Rajan Anandan said that the company will cut prices across its Android One line of smartphones and deliver devices that are under $50 (about Rs. 3,000).

β€œIt is like any company when you try to launch a new initiative β€” we had a few hiccups,” Rajan said of Android One's perceived failure and added that the "sweet spot" for mass-adoption of smartphones in India is between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000. In comparison, last year's Android One phones cost upwards of Rs. 6,000.

Technology news website Re/Code cites figures from Counterpoint Research, which say that around 7,00,000 Android One phones are shipped in the program's first 100 days -- and the same number in the subsequent 5 months.
Android One smartphones run a clean version of Android with no manufacturer modifications. Like Google's Nexus like of high-end phones, these devices also get updates directly from Google.
Besides the price, one of the reason why Android One didn't take off was poor bandwidth in the countries in which it was launched, something that Google plans to address by introducing offline versions of its apps. It has already made a start in india by allowing users to download YouTube videos and play them back offline.