Google is planning to revive its Android One project in India by making handsets more affordable. The initiative, which was launched in India last September, aims at bringing ultra-cheap Android smartphones with latest software on board. But, Google has not been successful in its attempt to reach a wider audience with its sub-Rs. 6,500 smartphones. In order to change this, the web search titan is planning to launch a sub-Rs. 3,000 smartphone in India.
Google is planning to unveil its new plan for the Android One project in a few weeks, the company's managing director for Southeast Asia, Rajan Anandan, said in an interview with the Financial Times. By retailing new Android One handsets for under Rs. 3,000, Google is trying to help the first time adopters to make the switch to smartphones.
In India, only about 200 million mobile users have smartphones, leaving the majority out of the picture. As the craze for smartphones is growing in the country, more people are shifting to such devices. With a sub-Rs. 3,000 smartphone, Google will bring affordable solution for those who wish to upgrade.
Besides supplying affordable hardware, Google continues to face serious challenges in India such as slow bandwidth, which hinders the efficiency of services like Maps and YouTube on mobile devices.
"There are several battlegrounds where we are not winning [and] local search is clearly the one where it's most apparent," Anandan told Financial Times, First Post reports. "Strategically it [India] is very, very important. Don't get me wrong, the revenue is interesting but... we're here really because 10 years from now a billion Indians will be online and when we have a billion Indians online we think that's going to make a huge difference to the global internet economy."
Previously, a report on The Information suggested that Google is planning to make some of its apps use little or no data so users can benefit in areas with bandwidth challenges.
So far, budget offerings from companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo, YU and others have proven to be widely successful. These Android-based handsets offer amazing specifications as compared to Android One, making it tough for Google's project to flourish. By lowering the price to somewhere between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 3,000, Google may be able to hit the "sweet spot" in the budget-conscious Indian market.