Google Android One smartphones face slow growth in India

Google Android One smartphones are facing slow growth in India despite huge promotion budget committed by the tech giant.

The poor sales are despite the ongoing festival season.

Online trade has already taken a hit due to poor demand for Google Android One smartphones. “The sale is in “okay position.” It is not substantial as compared with some of the other brand launches we had this year,” a senior official with an e-commerce portal said.

“We thought sales of Android One devices will pick up during the festival season. We are unable to find any specific reason for the poor demand. Considering the investment done by Google and quality of phones, sales should pick up,” another official with trading community said.

Three Indian smartphone vendors — Micromax, Karbonn and Spice — introduced smartphones which are priced at around Rs 6,000 onwards.

The strategy of Google to dominate the OS market in the entry and mid-level smartphone did not work well. Google has more than 75 percent share in the Indian OS market. India is an important market for Google because China is big challenge for the tech giant.

Android One

Questionnaire seeking official information to Google and the three smartphone vendor did not elicit any response.

IDC report on Google Android One smartphones

Last week research firm IDC said that Google’s ambitious move to address the fragmented Android ecosystem with its Android One devices will help in redefining the affordable smartphone segment, but the Indian market will be a tough call for the US-based tech giant.

“Despite significant marketing spend already in evidence on Android One, IDC believes India will be a tough crucible for Google. Blocked out of China, Google has no choice but to make a large downstream investment in the next billion consumer segment in India,” IDC said.

California-based tech firm will launch Android One devices in markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka in coming months.

IDC believes that Android One is crucial for Google to execute on its strategy to leverage the fast-growing Android user base to drive engagement for its increasing portfolio of essential Google services, including search, Maps, Google Now and others. A consistent user experience, or at least a vastly improved one, will greatly increase engagement and ultimately revenues.

IDC says Android One will attract significant sales and redefine the affordable smartphone segment by reshaping the mid tier with a range of devices that feature good enough device specifications for a fraction of the price compared to flagship devices.

Android One will effectively create a bipolar pear shaped environment where the high end will be dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung with their iPhone and Galaxy flagship devices and the low end will increasingly converge around $100 Average Selling Price (ASP) benchmark, said IDC.

Local brands dominate Chinese smartphone market

Meanwhile, Germany-based market research institute GfK said the market share of China’s domestic mobile phone brands reached 72 percent in the mainland in June, and the number of 4G phones is expected to reach 100 million in China by year-end.

According to GfK, in June, China-based mobile phone brands reached 72 percent of total market share in China. Phones below 2,000 yuan (US$320) take up about 80 percent of the market share. Chinese phone makers like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo have made ground-breaking progress through their flagship models.

Anand B
editor@gizmolead.com

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