Earlier last month, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) reached a new record when the company claimed nearly 85% of the smartphone market share. Now, the search engine giant can possibly claim more with the entrance into the emerging market. Google announced their interest in entering the market when announcing Android Kit Kat last year, stating that the latest version of Android will be geared to allow low-end smartphones to run optimally. On Monday, Google announced a line of devices called the ‘Android One’.
Google has collaborated with handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to bring three new devices to the emerging markets. The Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, the Micromax Canvas A1 and the Karbonn Sparkle V. These devices will launch in India, and roll out to the Philippines, Indonesia and South Asia in the first year. The first to launch would be Micromax’s Canvas A1, which will have a 4.5-inch display, quad 1.3GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a 5-megapixel camera.
How Google can takeover with the Android One
Android OS has been dominating in the emerging market. The most popular phones at the moment in India are the Samsung Galaxy Star Pro, and the Galaxy S Duo 2, both running Android OS, but the biggest competitor remains Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) alongside this Nokia is aggressively pushing the Window platform in low price devices to compete with Android. Nokia has made billions targeting the emerging market but likely to lose its growing popularity soon.
While the Android One may just seem like another cheap smartphone, this may be the biggest boost for Google in the emerging market. Google will not only be taking control of the hardware with the Android One, since it is a Google hardware; the devices will be getting the latest updates automatically. Despite being a budget phone, the Android One line will be receiving the quickest update, like the premium devices such as the Nexus 5, and the Play Edition phones.
The Android One device is currently expected to be priced at about $100 which will put it at a competitive pricing level with current Nokia devices. It is expected that over 400 million smartphones will be sold in India in the next five years, and it seems that Google will be gaining a large chunk of that. Android One is only a start to many budget smartphones to come.