Android isn’t just for big expensive smartphones for western markets. Google have fully committed to making the phone operating system worldwide, and part of that commitment is getting smartphones out to some of the least privileged parts of the world, especially in India and South-East Asia. The Android One smartphone program has previously been part of this move, bringing cheap reliable smartphones to emerging markets.
However, in the next few weeks Android One will relaunch in an even cheaper upgraded model – the smartphones reportedly are going to go for under $50 in India. Google has outlined their plan to become a well known smartphone vendor in India with Android One, however their first wave of earlier Android One phones didn’t apparently live up to expectations, according to Google’s India and SE Asia managing director Rajan Anandan.
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According mister Anandan, the phones were hampered by what he says were supply chain issues, although the first wave also saw setbacks with not being competitively priced compared to other smartphones in the region. Android One mobiles used a cut back version of Android in order to keep prices low, but apparently this just wasn’t enough. Lower bandwidth mobiles fare better in India since 3G is much more common there compared to newer 4G and LTE connections we’re used to here in the UK. Getting rid of unnecessary LTE on the new wave of Android One phones would help bring the price down.
Originally Android One phones were priced around $100 – which proved to still be too high for the emerging market to pick up interest. Google claims the new wave will go for a staggeringly low $30 to $50 dollar price range, as well as have a supporting investment program to get small businesses in India online with content specifically aimed at the market in the country. As well as this Google themselves are looking into ways to make products better suited to slower connections.
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Getting India and South East Asia more affordable smartphones with web capability and apps is a very important move, and not just for Google – the smartphone revolution in the west opened up so many business options for traders and app makers, creating a whole new market for entrepreneurs and budding software moguls to sell their stuff.
Making it more affordable and easy to join in for consumers in India is a move designed to create modern jobs, give graduates the chance to utilize the skills they’ve learned, and generally foster business and communication. Around 500 million Indians will be online by 2017, and it’s vastly important to get those customers proper working devices, since they represent one of arguably the world’s biggest economies.
Via: Financial Times
Via: Apex Tribune