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Phoneless Billions Lure Google to India

Android One Debuts in India, Ignites Next 5 Billion Battle
9/15/2014 11:35 AM EDT
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Wireless PraBhu
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Re: Phoneless
Wireless PraBhu   9/22/2014 6:03:45 AM
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Yoshida-san, It is less of economic divide but more related with smartphone literacy. 10%-20% of Indian mobile users can just make call... can't even send an SMS :( For half the users, internet connectivity for maps etc. is of little relevance. And hence as someone pointed out, $25 phones are large in demand. The 50+ age-group is under-confident on using the phone features like camera.

Indian youth is zapped with Android Smartphones for peculiar reasons and hence spurt in $100+ smartphones. WhatzApp is really a craze for sharing instantly. But otherwise not full use of Smartphone features. You ask 10 Kitkat users on Miracast and 9 won't know it. So Smartphone is more of status symbol.

FireFox has missed the window and won't be able to gain foothold even with $35 phone. Android has to focus on $33 smartphones and wait for the real data usage to grow in India. 3G or 4G services are still costly and would take time to expand. Never forget ARPU in India is too low being mostly voice-centric.

Regds,

Praveen

Anand.Yaligar
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Re: Phoneless
Anand.Yaligar   9/20/2014 2:26:13 PM
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I like the fact that Android One is about to set things cheaper. Are tablets scheduled to launch with Android One too? If that happens then the literacy factor in rural India can be tackled and increasing with the android tablet coming pre installed with apps like "learn english within 6 months".

alex_m1
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Re: Phoneless
alex_m1   9/16/2014 10:31:08 PM
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Junko,

With the current launch of the intex aqua t2 android phone for $44 , the indian government  project for bringing wifi to every village by 2016 and the power of education apps , especially for india's bad education system(this is a great example of the magnitude of the influnce can be[1]) - all point to an huge demand for low-end smartphones from rural india, maybe something to the tune of 0.5-1 billion units.

 

[1]look for "Malawi app 'teaches UK pupils 18 months of maths in six weeks'" - your system apparently doesn't accept links.

docdivakar
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Re: SMART-Phoneless!
docdivakar   9/16/2014 12:44:31 PM
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@omks: Right on, you caught a folly in the title that many of us missed! I do agree there are many mobile phone users in India. I have to second guess here -perhaps Junko also intended to bring to every one's attention that Android One is not just for existing Indian mobile users to switch but also to a generation whose first mobile will be a smart phone. Just by sheer numbers, these are hundreds of millions of people that far exceed the populations of many countries and their potential market exceeds GDP of many others!

The adoption of smart phones like Android One by lesser educated and poorer sections of population adds a very valuable input to their usage / behaviour with these devices. This is a section of the market that had long been ignored and thanks to works like those of CK Prahlad (Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid) many businesses including Google are now focusing their attention to them. A transient & fast-changing demography like that in India is truly an 'emerging' section that can not be ignored.

MP Divakar

AZskibum
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Re: Phoneless
AZskibum   9/16/2014 11:17:13 AM
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Good point -- the subject line "Phoneless" should more accurately be "Smartphoneless." But what I am curious about is the relative costs of hardware vs. data plans. How many months worth of data (at typical usage rates per month) does it take before the cost of data exceeds the cost of the $105 phone?

omks
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Re: Phoneless
omks   9/16/2014 7:13:13 AM
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Dear Author 

The headline for this article is not appropriate. India is the country where  600 million phones are used out of which 240 millions of phones are smartphones and 60% of the smartphone market captured by Sasmsung. Do you still call India is phoneless.

World's most advanced mobility software, IoT development happening in India, not even at USA. Hope you correct the tagline.

wilber_xbox
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Re: Phoneless
wilber_xbox   9/16/2014 2:20:00 AM
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Though the holistic user experience is a key to sucess but most of the company miss the point to keep the spare parts at a reasonable price. For example, the nagging problems with the smartphones are related to the touchscreen, cameras and LCD displays. And most of the time they cost more than the 50% of the mobile phone costs. 

Neo10
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Re: Phoneless
Neo10   9/16/2014 12:43:28 AM
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The Android one phone are on sale. While the spec looks good on paper the user experience and battery life is what decides how it fares. And I don't think this is the smart phone for the masses as the price is still way beyong what most people below middle class in India can afford. Most of those low income groups are happy with the Nokia bar phones which runs symbian without a hitch.

 

 

 

collin0
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Re: Phoneless
collin0   9/16/2014 12:33:55 AM
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Google use Android one to open India market is not its real target. For google, consumers are the resources they really need. Google want to sell low price smartphone to emerging market to grasp the user resourses which has big potential.

Google is not a hardware manufacturer, its interest is not on devices that only the tools for google to get what it really need. It will not care about the profit it earn by selling smartphone. How many population Google grasp is the key.

junko.yoshida
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Re: Phoneless
junko.yoshida   9/15/2014 7:31:22 PM
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@docdivakar, the need for the local language support, beyond Hindi, is something I hadn't thtought aobut. Astute observation.

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