Google is in a position to potentially line up mass-market consumers in emerging markets for seamless transition to its next generation products. Android One is the platform Google is using to prepare first time smartphone users to get familiar with using their smartphones and Internet using speech, writes Jayanth Kolla, partner at Convergence Catalyst, a leading consulting and research firm. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Google Doodle wishes dads with cute pop-up greeting cardAlso Read - Google might be working on a 'Find My' network clone for Android users
Google launched the Android One smartphone program with the first set of devices with Android KitKat 4.4 available to the end user starting at Rs 6,299 partnering with three of India s leading domestic mobile OEMs. The company has also announced upcoming partnerships with nine other players. Together, these players contribute to over 50 percent of the current smartphone sales in India. Also, as per our estimates, approximately 50 percent of smartphone sales in India will be in the price range of Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 this year. So, Rs 6,300 is a sweet spot for the device(s) targeting first time smartphone users. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
The key objective of this program is to ensure comprehensive and optimum Android smartphone experience (and, by extension, Google s services) for mass-market consumers, with Google playing a key role in designing hardware, software and apps. The Android One program is also expected to be launched in other emerging markets such as Indonesia and Philippines soon.
One of the key service that Google brings as a part of its bouquet with Android One is Google Now the speech-input based intelligent personal assistant. Google Now answers user s questions, makes recommendations, and performs actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. The service integrates a number of other Google services such as Search, Mail, Maps, Play Store as well as native device apps such as text messeges.
For an entire generation of (largely) first time smartphone users (and, in all probability, mobile Internet users) Google Now is a novel way not just to explore and experience other Google services, but the web at large. As the Android One program expands into other markets, OEMs and price points, Google is ensuring more and more users to get habituated to a new way of interacting with their devices with natural speech input.
Going forward, as the miniaturization of computing devices continues, and wearables (such as smart watches and glasses) and connected devices (smart homes, driverless cars…) evolve, speech is expected to become a primary input/device-interaction method (due to varying form factors and lack of adequate real estate for keyboards).
Also, Data Synthesis Platforms – platforms with the ability to collect data from various touch-points and in different formats, analyze trends and patterns, establish context and initiate relevant actions will be the fundamental enablers of this post-post-PC era (Internet of Things/M2M/Connected Devices era). And, this is where a self-learning, Artificial Intelligence platform enabled tool like Google Now can be useful to build the ecosystem.
So, while Apple is still trying to better its intelligent personal assistant tool Siri and, Microsoft s Cortana is still in beta testing phase in a couple of markets, Google not only is ahead in terms of product development cycle, but is also much farther in terms of deployment and distribution of its product to reach the mass-market consumers in emerging markets. The company is not only scaling its current offerings, but is also potentially aligning mass-market consumers to its next generation products. Brilliant move!
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