The Indian handset market has never been so interesting the way it looks now. Samsung, Mozilla, and now Google seem to be chasing the great Indian middle class. On Monday, India-born Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps, Google, officially launched three Android One smartphones in India. All three phones are low-end, with prices starting at Rs. 6,399.
Android One is an initiative to build affordable phones - running the latest version of Android. Hardware is also crucial to sell software. The first Android One smartphones will be manufactured by Indian handset makers. In the initial phase, Google has tied-up with three well-known domestic players: Micromax, Spice and Karbonn.
At the same event, Pichai, announced that more manufactures, a total 9 players, will develop the next-gen batch of Android One smartphones. The long list includes likes of HTC, Panasonic, Asus, Alcatel OneTouch, Lava, Intex, Lenovo, Acer and Xolo.
Notably, Google also announced the coming of Qualcomm onboard. This means the next-gen phones would be powered by Qualcomm. In addition to that, Google will sell Android One smartphones will Indonesia, Pakistan and few other key Asian territories, other than India.
Amusingly, Samsung and Motorola might not manufacture Android One smartphones. So far Samsung hasn't released a press statement justifying its absence by not associating with Google.
Google's Android OS controls 80 % of the worldwide smartphone market. The picture isn't different in India, where Android platform rules the handset market.
Meanwhile, we've made a list of 9 new handset manufacturers that will develop the next batch of Android One smartphones. Take a look into sliders below!
Not too long ago Asus announced its entry into Indian handset market. Thus far the company has managed to sell a quite a lot number of its Zenfone series in the country. Asus is already selling its Zenfone 4 under Rs. 7,000 price tag.
HTC is a known player in the worldwide market. However, the firm has not been able to capture a large chunk of market share in India. It would be interesting to see a Rs. 6,000 priced Android One smartphone from the makers behind the HTC One (M8).
Yet another Taiwanese maker, Acer, would be selling Android One smartphones in India. The PC giant has always been resultant to sell smartphones in India.
Panasonic entered Indian handset scene last year with an underwhelming product. They must be hoping to create some magic with its first ever Android One smartphone.
After collaborating with Mozilla, Intex is set to launch its Android One smartphones for masses. No update on when we can expect the Intex-made Android One smartphone to land onto local market.
Here's another company which has not been able to capture the handset market. The brand has long been ignored, citing poor marketing and carefree attitude. The company's collaboration with Google should been seen a comeback of sorts in the Indian smartphone market.
The Lava-made smartphones are quite popular. However, the company is fast looking its market share in the low-end market. With Android One, Lava is hoping to register spike in sales.
Xolo, as a brand, is quite big in the mid-range category. Amusingly, the firm has never got a huge response in the affordable category. With an upcoming Android One smartphones, the company aims to take on the likes of Motorola and Xiaomi.
Off lately Lenovo is building enough hype around its high-end phones in India. But the same cannot be said about the affordable phones. We can look forward to some brilliant Android One smartphones to come from the house of Lenovo.