Home Technology Google plans to revitalize Android One with sub-$50 smartphones in India

Google plans to revitalize Android One with sub-$50 smartphones in India

Google now wants to revive its Android One initiative in the Indian sub-continent.

The Mountain View-based company had already had a stint with the project in India when it launched sub $90 handsets in the country last September. Now what is deemed to be a massive push on the company’s part, Google is reportedly prepping a sub- device into India’s growing Internet services market.

Google’s Managing Director for India and Southeast Asia, Mr. Rajan Anandan told in an interview that the company is intently focused on the new initiative with an aim to launch even more affordable handsets. The company apparently wants to target the ‘sweet spot’ in the budget conscious smartphone market in India and help manufacturers develop decent quality low-cost smartphones.

To recall, the Android One initiative was announced at Google I/O developer’s conference last year, essentially to provide an improved user experience in affordable Android handsets. However, the company hasn’t had any success since the project’s launch, with supply chain issues being the primary cause leading to shortages, which were largely imported from China. The company also joined hands with several Indian OEMs to launch these low-cost Android handsets in the country.

After its debut in India, Google started expanding the initiative in several other regions including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Though the initiative still couldn’t gain much traction, largely because of the unavailability of decent bandwidth in these regions. In the coming future, the company plans to address the issue by offering offline versions of some of its apps, something like the offline playback feature.

Google’s plans to revive the project comes given the staggering rise of Internet users in the country, which is expected to surpass $500 million by 2017. Both Facebook and Twitter already assume India as their second and third largest markets in terms of users. By pricing its Android One smartphones in the sub-$50 price bracket, Google might be able to attract a broad user base to its Android One initiative. India being a nation of more than a billion people, only has around 200 million smartphone users.

Hence, Google specifically wants to tap this segment of the market, essentially users who’ll be exposed to smartphones for the first time.