Google Aims To Reverse Android One’s Fortunes In India

Google’s Android One low-cost smartphone project didn’t gain traction among buyers largely due to its lack of differentiation and online only sales route. Now, the company is planning a massive investment in order to increase internet access and continually lower costs of devices.

Android One is a set of specifications that help manufacturers make cheap but still great Android smartphones. Rajan Anandan, MD of Google India & Southeast Asia said that plans for the reboot of the program will be announced in the next few weeks.

Google is trying to hook first-time smartphone buyers onto its ecosystem with Android One, however, even the $100 price tag set for the first wave of devices seemed too high. The company wants to now target the sweet spot in the smartphone market between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 over the next few years.

Further, in order to develop the Indian digital advertising market, Google is planning a large-scale investment program to bring tens of millions of businesses online and develop content in regional languages to focus on the non-English speaking population.

The company is also looking to address the slow bandwidth issue in India by building products suited for it like offline YouTube and Maps and a lite version of Google Search.

Update: The article earlier wrongly mentioned that Google was going to launch a sub-$50 Android One smartphone in India. The company clarified that it would look to hit that price point over the next few years.

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