Google to launch Android One by October

Google is planning to launch the much-anticipated Android One in India by October.

The search engine giant is planning to spend around Rs 100 crore with its partners for promotional exercise for this $100 handset.

Indian companies like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn have entered into a deal with Google earlier. It was later revealed that Intex and Celkon would join the team to launch Android One in emerging markets like Asia Pacific.

Google will supply hardware reference points for these companies to base the phone on. The company will also provide software and subsequent updates for the phones,” says an ET report.

This project will make smartphones affordable to more people around the world.

While announcing the project at the Google I/O developer conference this year Google said that the purpose of Android One is to bring affordable, high-quality smartphones to billions more people around the globe. Coming to India this fall: Android phones for under $100.”

Mozilla, Windows to Challenge

This would take the smartphone race to another level, as IDC has earlier reported that there is an increasing demand for handset below $200.

While Google is offering $100 handset, Mozilla Firefox has come up with $25 handset by joining hands with Spice and Intex. Mozilla has already launched $99.99 handset with ZTE, which is now available on ebay.

Micromax, Lava and Karbonn have struck deals with Microsoft to launch budget smartphones with Windows OS.

Budget smartphones, the money-spinner

The smartphone race will get hotter in the coming days, as market researches carried out by various organizations suggest that India is likely to have 250 million smartphone users.

Budget smartphones

According to research firm IDC, 71 percent of India’s mobile phone users still have feature phones, or low-cost phones with lesser functionalities than a smartphone. The proportion of feature-phone users though is falling rapidly, as smartphones get cheaper.

Let us take a look at the leading player in the smart phone segment. Samsung leads the smartphone market with 35 percent market share in 1Q 2014. Though there are many high-end and mid-range products, high volume came from low-end devices like Galaxy Star Pro and Galaxy S Duos 2 S7582.

Micromax has maintained its second position with 15 percent market share. Though Micromax came up with many mid-range models in Canvas series, their largest selling model is low-end Bolt series.

With Google tying up with Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and Celkon, more low-cost and feature-rich products will be launched, making the road ahead tough for others including Samsung.

Anoop Raghav

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