Competition in the booming multibillion dollar Indian smartphone market is further set to intensify with e-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal all set to launch Google’s much-awaited sub-$100 (around Rs 6,000) handsets tomorrow. Google is launching the Android One devices in India tomorrow.
In June this year, the US-based tech giant had announced the ‘Android One’ initiative to bring in under-$100 handsets aimed at bringing the next one billion population to the Android operating system ecosystem.
While homegrown online marketplace majors Flipkart and Snapdeal will be exclusively selling Android One smartphones from Spice and Karbonn, respectively, US-based e-commerce giant Amazon’s Indian arm will sell handsets from Micromax. All the three handset makers have come out with teasers of their launch.
It is not the first time that device makers have partnered with e-commerce firms for launching their products. Motorola and Xiaomi have successfully launched their smartphones on Flipkart, while Spice, Micromax and Intex have launched their devices on Snapdeal.
According to research firm IDC, smartphone sales in the country grew almost three-fold to over 44 million in 2013, buoyed by affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn. In the second quarter of 2014, 18.42 million smartphones were shipped in India. Though Samsung is the leader with a 29 percent market share, Micromax (18 percent), Karbonn (eight percent) and LAVA (six percent) are close competitors.
While Android is the dominant operating system globally, other OS’ like Windows and iOS (Apple) are also gaining traction. Also, newer platforms like Firefox and Tizen may emerge as strong challengers to Google’s platform. Google’s attempts to also important as it aims to capture a larger share of the entry-level segment.
Recently, Firefox (in partnership with Spice and Intex) launched two new smartphones, priced below Rs 2,300, aimed at those looking to upgrade from feature phones to smartphones.