The Indian smartphone market which is flooded with budget handsets can be a cruel place for the Android One devices that promise to deliver the best experience Google has to offer without breaking the bank. So far, three OEMs have released phones under the program and things aren’t looking all that good from the sales prospective.
The Economics Times has got its hands on data from research firm Cybex Exim Solutions, which highlights imports of Android One smartphones from Micromax, Karbonn and Spice for the month of October. According to the information provided, only 2 lakh handsets were brought into the country for sale during the first month.
That number is far lesser compared to the 2.3 lakh combined units which were shipped for the first fifteen days of sale. Additionally, an anonymous industry tracker stated that a total of 8 million smartphone made their way into India in October, out of which approximately 2.5% were part of the Android One program.
Clearly, Google’s new initiative isn’t doing all that well, but the search giant’s official statement contradicts the above data. A spokesperson noted that sales have been strong especially in tier II and III cities.
The main highlight of Android One is direct software updates from Google. This incentive doesn’t appear to be good enough to attract customers and that’s probably because devices with the same hardware are being offered for much cheaper.
Google’s Android One has certainly made a slow start, but things could get better in the following months. Also, there’s word that we might see handsets from new partners coming with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips instead of MediaTek SOCs.