Google s Android One initiative, which it launched in India, earlier this year, has not had the best of starts. The affordable phones from Google s hardware partners are facing stiff competition from rivals like Motorola and Xiaomi, Economic Times reports. Also Read - Redmi Note 10T, Note 10 price in India hiked by Rs 500: Check new prices hereAlso Read - RedmiBook Pro, RedmiBook e-Learning Edition launch in India, start at Rs 41,999
According to the publication s sources, Android One smartphone sales have been hurt due to heavy competition as well as the fact that it was only available online in the beginning. Popular smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi 1S as well as the Motorola Moto E too are placed in the same price range as the Android One smartphones. This is also in line with reports last month claiming that Android One smartphone sales had got off to a slow start in the first month. Also Read - Google Chrome sending Enhanced Safe Browsing notifications? Know all about it here
The failure is also accredited to Google s marketing campaign. While Google is said to be ready to spend as much as Rs 100 crore in marketing the initiative, it has so far failed to convey how these devices and its operating system that offer Google Services like Maps and Google Now, are different. The report also states that shortcomings such as the inability to take pictures without adding an external card to the devices may have also hurt.
According to import data for the month of October, only two lakh handsets had arrived in the country, which is lesser than the 2.3 lakh units available at the time of launch. As far as the hardware partners are concerned, Micromax led the way selling more handsets compared to Spice and Karbonn. Micromax imported 1.32 lakh units of the Canvas A1 in October, while Karbonn and Spice only imported 34,390 units each of the Sparkle V and the Dream UNO.
Despite this, Google is upbeat about the Android One initiative. A company spokesperson told the publication that the smartphones were seeing “very strong sales and consumer interest”, particularly in tier II and tier III cities.
Pradeep Jain, managing director of Karbonn Mobiles too says that its Android One smartphone is doing well despite the slow uptake. Traction has started coming now and demand is improving, he said.
Google launched the Android One initiative in India by launching affordable smartphones running on stock Android. These smartphones were developed in conjunction with hardware partners like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, and are priced between Rs 6,299 and Rs 6,499. These smartphones were initially only available online, but have since hit offline retail stores as well.
Going forward, analysts expect the sales to pick up. Google also announced new hardware partners including HTC, Lava, Xolo, Intex, Asus, Alcatel Onetouch, Lenovo, and Panasonic and aims to launch new smartphones in the beginning of next year.