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Google to relaunch Android One in India: New-gen smartphones to be priced under Rs 3,000
The ambitious Android One project from Google failed to generate the buzz that the company had expected it to generate. Nevertheless, this hasn't set the company back and they are planning of make a comeback again with a range of new super budget smartphones.
Google had announced the Android One project in their developer I/O last year. Since then the company had brought their Android One device to ten Asian countries so far among which nine are from Asia. India became the first destination of the Android One project in Q4 of 2014, when the company launched three budget devices made by Micromax, Lava and Spice. However the devices launched at Rs 6,500 failed to reach Google's expected sales numbers. The stiff competition from Redmi 1S (then priced at Rs 5,999) and Motorola Moto E, and limited offline retail support were considered the main reasons behind the mediocre sales of the Android One devices.
At the end of the day the devices were aimed at the average Indian, for whom the Android One would be their first smart device. Hence expecting those users to buy the devices via e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal was merely an act of hypocrisy.
Nevertheless, Google is now eager to make amends. In an interview with Finanacial Times, Rajan Anandan, Google's Managing Director, India and South East Asia said that despite the mediocre response, Google is quite serious about the project. In fact in near future we will see Android One devices from the company under the sub Rs 3,000 mark, thanks to their Indian partners like Lava, Karbonn, and Micromax etc.
"Strategically [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", quoted Anandan.
This will be foot in the right direction for the company because that's the price bracket which most Indian consumers consider for buying their first smartphone. He also reassured that Google is looking into the offline retail matter seriously. In fact their recently launched mid-range Android One handset from Lava would be widely available in brick and mortar stores.