Tech giant Google today launched its much-awaited Android One smartphones, priced at Rs 6,399 onwards, in India in partnership with domestic handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, a move that will further fuel the fiercely competitive multi-billion dollar market here.
Greyhound Research CEO Sanchit Vir Gogia feels Android One is going to be a game changer in India. Google’s goal is to reach the 5 billion people in emerging markets, including a billion in India. This gives them an edge as compared Microsoft, Apple and Blackberry, he added. “Android One gives Google tighter control over the Google OS which means standardised UX. Support for seven regional languages is going to be a solid plus over competitors. This will not only help consumers use vernacular, it is also likely to help promote apps in regional language,” Gogia said.
On the competition to Android One, Gogia said Google can expect competition but none has the wherewithal like Google to be as aggressive and invest heavily in the ecosystem.
FireFox and Tizen are competition but far from reaching critical volumes. Firefox (in partnership with Spice and Intex) launched two new smartphones, priced below Rs 2,300, aimed at those looking to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones, he added. “Both Microsoft and Apple are not eyeing this market at all, so we can safely expect Google to pretty much own this market. Eventually, Android One will touch Tablets as well,” he said.
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