Android India

For the last two quarters Android has outsold iPhones in the US. It has real momentum behind it. All carriers in the US offer multiple Android smartphones and the rate at which new ones are being introduced can be only described as a frenzy.

I think Android can conquer the Indian smartphone market. There are many, many things going in its favor. Android is supported by Google but is open source and free. India is a price sensitive market. Apple’s options are fairly limited with the price of an iPhone being what it is. You’ll find corporate bigwigs and finance types carrying an iPhone but really, with a $500+ price tag without a contract, it is just too expensive. So unless Apple introduces an “emerging market” iPhone model it has no hope.

And I don’t think that will happen. They’ll be too concerned about reverse flow of cheap, unlocked iPhones back into developed markets. In any case, Apple is used to being the BMW/Mercedes of consumer tech. They can’t play the emerging markets game. Also, they have no or little support infrastructure in India.

The only potential problem I can foresee is if the hardware spec for running Android becomes too expensive. As an OS matures it gathers features and bloats. But Google seems to have thought of that. Froyo, which is the latest version, is supposed to be highly performance-tuned and could even run on the first generation G1 hardware (I am considering it for my G1). Spice announced their Android phone range today. The entry level Mi 300 is priced at Rs. 10,000. That is a very nice starting point. Expect prices to go down from there.

So if you have a mobile apps strategy in India, better start thinking Android. And Nokia should see the writing on the wall and go Android.

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5 Responses to Android India

  1. Swapnil Pundle says:

    Have you missed Microsoft in this Android vs iphone comparison ? There are quite a few sub Rs.10k phones in the Indian market that run windows mobile. Microsoft can sell it cheap and it feels very similar to the Windows that almost everyone uses on their computers. Similarity with the computer OS can work out to be a big advantage for Microsoft !

    Like

    • Basab Pradhan says:

      Globally Microsoft's mobile goose is cooked. Even Ballmer admits that. In India, they may have a decent market share amongst smart phones, but the absence of a vibrant apps ecosystem will hurt them big time. Plus the OS is just not as good.

      Like

  2. Varun says:

    Shared this on http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/AndroidIndia . A page I had setup to keep a tab on this very subject. Unfortunately, the page is not searchable and not many members yet.

    Like

  3. Entry level Android phones have started entering Indian market and we can say that Android will start penetrating to rural sectors in India.

    You can also view the complete list of android phones available in India and their price list.
    Android Phones in India – Complete list and their price list
    http://indiaandroid.com/2010/07/android-phones-in

    Less than 10K phones are in market and will sure capture the mid segment

    Like

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