Google’s Android One smartphones to spell doom for Samsung in India

Google will be bringing down an army of Android One phones on Samsung in the near future, with the former’s September 15 press event set to tell us more about it. If we’re lucky, we may even see a few handsets running on the OS rolling out on the said date.

Android One is the official reference design for inexpensive phones which keeps things neat and tidy, just the way Google likes it. The company’s OS may be enjoying incredible success, but it’s suffering on two counts – Android forks and user experience fragmentation.

Sundar Pichai Presenting Android One

Android One is all about the stock UI and doesn’t let manufacturers add any special touches to the OS’ core, thus delivering a consistent interface across brands and devices. This also means Google will rake in higher earnings from it since users will be rendered the unadulterated experience always and may be likely to mostly frequent the company’s very own suite of services.

Related post: Google Android One phones will be powered by MediaTek processors

Google has always wanted to provide updates to Android devices on a uniform basis, which is why it ensured that KitKat would work on low- to high-end phones and tablets. But this doesn’t seem to have worked out too well and the tech giant being able to dictate the T&Cs through Android One gives it better control over how end users are served.

Google Android One

Samsung has declared war on Android with its Tizen ambitions and is aware it won’t be able to depend on Android for long. It’s in search of the next big thing as shelves are clearly too crowded with cheap devices that are forcing it to slice its profit margins slim. It’s been steadily losing its market share to Indian brands such as Micromax and Karbonn.

Also see: Google sending out invites for Android One India launch on Sep 15

And now Karbonn, Micromax, Spice, Celkon and Intex are the very manufacturers with which Google has partnered over its Android One program. It doesn’t intend to take over the market one product at a time, but rather with an army of inexpensive options. While the company is aiming at the Rs 6000 mark, many feel devices working on the said OS won’t be able to come that cheap.

On top of that, Samsung is putting up a weak fight and rolled out the Galaxy Star Advance, Galaxy Ace NXT and Galaxy Star 2 rather reluctantly. Maybe it’s not afraid of Google Android One and is hoping it’ll only have as much impact as Microsoft’s move to award free licensing to Indian brands did?