“Google Inc launched in India on Monday a $105 smartphone, the first device from its ‘Android One’ initiative which is aimed at boosting sales in key emerging markets through cheaper prices,” Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Tommy Wilkes report for Reuters. “The Mountain View-Based company tied up with Indian handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles to launch the 6,399 rupees phone, which is powered by Google’s operating system and targets the booming low-cost segment of the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.”
“After launching in India, Google said it plans to expand Android One to Indonesia, Philippines and other South Asian countries by the end of 2014 and in more countries in 2015,” Bhattacharjee and Wilkes report. “Currently, many cheap smartphones in India and other emerging markets run different and somewhat customised versions of the Android operating system. The many variations they produce make the phones prone to glitches, and leave Google with almost no control over its platform.”
“There are at least 80 smartphone brands in India and analysts say the Android One phones must offer customers more than just affordability if Google wants to compete with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Motorola and China’s Xiaomi, which all make similarly priced devices,” Bhattacharjee and Wilkes report. “‘The initial pricing never sticks but it’ll be tough for them to compete if they don’t come down further,’ said Counterpoint’s Shah.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: When others shortsightedly race to the bottom, Apple always wins.
Android is pushed to users who are, in general:
a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar offers.
Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle-building powders or grease monkey overalls.
Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.
Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.
iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the “Hee Haw” demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.
IDC: Apple again took the smartphone cream in Q2 – August 15, 2014
iOS users seven times more active than those who settle for Android – August 4, 2014
Report: Google’s Android the ‘preferred platform’ for terrorists – August 1, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Apple’s iOS dominates in richer countries, Android in poorer regions – March 25, 2014
IDC: Apple iPhone to maintain high value, margins, and market share through 2018 – February 28, 2014
Why Apple’s iPhone keeps raking in the majority of mobile phone profits – March 19, 2014
Apple dominates with 60% share of mobile phone profits – March 18, 2014
Android has the most unit share, but Apple dominates profit share, making more money than all Android smartphone makers combined – November 15, 2013
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
IDC: Android worldwide smartphone market share passes 80% – November 12, 2013
Apple Maps makes killer comeback as Google Maps loses access to world’s most desirable mobile customers – November 12, 2013
Android phones 3 times more likely than Apple iPhones to have been bought at discount store – August 22, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013
Twitter heat map shows iPhone use by the affluent, Android by the poor – June 20, 2013
Apple’s iPhone generates more in carrier fees than rival smartphones – January 30, 2013
Unsurprisingly, survey says Apple’s iOS is highest priority among mobile developers – January 23, 2013
People buy more Android phone units and do less with them vs. Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – November 14, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Yankee Group: Apple iPhone owners shop more, buy more, remain more loyal vs. other device users – July 20, 2010
iPhone owners more likely to pay for digital content – November 26, 2009
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Apple iPhone users buy many more apps, surf the Web much more than other ‘smartphone’ users – March 27, 2009