Google launched its much-hyped Android One initiative last year, but it has yet to get the kind of response the search giant expected. But now it seems the company is taking another crack at the initiative with a slightly different plan.
In an interview with Financial Times, Google’s managing director in Southeast Asia, Rajan Anandan, acknowledged that Android One had “not delivered to expectations,” but the company is still “very committed” to the initiative. He was further quoted as saying that Google plans on announcing a new Android One plan “in the next few weeks.”
While details are scarce at the moment, part of these new plans include increasing investment, and aiming for a $50 smartphone. He says that in a price sensitive market like India, the sweet spot is between $31 and $47, which is approximately between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000.
When Sundar Pichai launched Android One last year, it included smartphones from Micromax, Spice and Karbonn, priced around Rs 6,000. With these smartphones receiving a lukewarm response at best, and having sold less than a million handsets since then, Google changed its tactics a bit.
Last month, it roped in Lava to launch an Android One smartphone called Pixel V1. Unlike the first batch of Android One smartphones, Lava’s smartphone featured a much better set of specifications, and a much higher price tag as well.
In addition to new Android One smartphones, Google is also looking at increasing investments in India with the aim of bringing “tens of millions of small businesses online and develop content suited to Indians whose first language is not English.” It also plans on launching more localized content for the Indian audience, as well as optimizing its products to work on slow data connections.