When you say Android phones and India in the same sentence , you will here lot of pessimistic rants about how small is the market and how there are not enough phones. But while looking closer at it, to me it looks like a huge potential opportunity in a years time.
Here is why I think so.
1. Fits Indian Market needs and Price range.
India is an economy where we have hugely aspirational users who are very conscious about ‘value for money’. Which meas we expect high end functionality from our phone in the range of Rs 8000/- to Rs 18000/- ($200 -$500). In past, Nokia has successfully proved it by selling bucket loads of their most popular N series phones in Indian Market. Some notable examples have been N70, N72, N73, and of course N95.
Android licensing terms and open sourcing policy makes it an ideal choice to build such a device. For example Nexus is priced at ~$500 (it’s still a tad higher for Indian sensitivity but it surely has a promise of getting much cheaper over time).
2. Dual sim variants
Due to prepaid nature of Indian market, and aggressive pricing by new operators, we are seeing a huge growth in dual sim phones. Nokia is yet to release their first dual sim phone. But for any non-Nokia manufacturer, Android is a perfect platform of choice to build a dual sim Mobile. Check out one such credibly rumored device
3. Fits the bill for ‘Indian’ manufacturers
If the new breed of Indian manufacturers such as Onida, Videocon, Max Mobile, and Karbonn want to enter smartphone game there is no better OS available than the one from Google to counter Nokia. Android should provide them with much needed brand publicity,credibility and quick time to market !
4. Motorola is banking on it
Surprisingly, Motorola is making steady gains from their position last year. The ‘Droid’ is a reasonable success so far in the US market. And as we have seen in past with RAZR, if Motorola is able to ship a half decent device, it has the potential to make impact in Indian market.
In addition we have Samsung,LG, and HTC with their range of Android based smartphones too.
So to me , it looks like by 2012 , Android will emerge as the credible competitor to Nokia in Indian smartphone market which is currently ~10 Million handsets per year , not at all a bad place to be !
So app developers, hope you are listening and adjusting your technology road-maps accordingly.
CEO and Co-Founder of Mobisy Technologies, Lalit is a mobility veteran who is passionate about digitally transforming the entire retail ecosystem in India, from big brands to the smallest of retailers. When not in office, Lalit can be found cycling on roads in and around Bangalore or trekking in the ghats, both kids in tow.