New Delhi: Google is expected to launch its much-awaited sub-USD 100 (around Rs 6,000) smartphones in India this month, which will further intensify competition in the booming multi-billion dollar smart devices market here.
According to an invite sent by the company, Google will make “an exciting new announcement” on September 12.
Sources said meanwhile that the company is going to unveil the sub-USD 100 device.
In June, Google announced its ‘Android One’ initiative to bring in under-USD 100 handsets aimed at bringing the next one billion population to the Android operating system ecosystem.
The US-based tech giant had partnered domestic handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to bring these devices into India by October this year.
The device with Micromax would be a dual-SIM 4.5-inch screen device with a removable SD card, costing less than USD 100, Google SVP (Android, Chrome and Apps), Sundar Pichai had said at the firm’s developers conference in San Francisco.
He had added that while Android One devices will be launched around the world, the initiative would start with India.
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 per cent market share, Micromax (18 per cent), Karbonn (8 per cent) and LAVA (6 per cent) 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.
Last week, 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.