Google Inc’s partnership with three Indian phone makers is set to raise fast-growing demand for lower priced Smartphones, and Samsung Electronics which is rapidly losing share in emerging markets, facing more trouble.
Phone manufacturers Micromax Infomatics Ltd, Karbonn Mobiles and Spice Group are the first to sign up for Google’s Android One initiative, which provides specifications for key hardware parts. Google plans to push Android One globally, India, the world’s third-biggest and fastest growing smartphone market, offers fertile ground for immediate results.
The aim is a big improvement in quality that would lead to a surge in demand for low-end Android phones. But any boom for higher-quality low-cost Smartphones in India and other price conscious markets has the potential to exert intense pricing pressure on Samsung.
Analysts note the potential for Google to expand revenue in ways more favorable to itself than in the past, as Android One phones won’t come with the heavy customization that Samsung and other phone makers using the Android operating system provide.
Karbonn hopes the program will expand its overseas revenue to near 20 percent in the next two years, from 5-7 percent now. It is looking to export to markets such as Europe, South Africa and Russia. Chairman Sudhir Hasija told Reuters.