India is one of the countries where Nokia’s Symbian dominates, because it’s available in feature phones that are cheaper than most smartphones. Android’s strategy is to eventually work on any kind of phone, from the very low-end, to the very high-end.
Right now, most smartphones are from HTC, Motorola or Samsung and are high-end, in the range of $400. This is simply too high for regular Indian people. The sweet spot of feature phones is somewhere between $100 and $150, and this is the range that Google is pushing to get Android into. It should be possible to create $150 Android smartphones this year that run smoothly, even on Android 2.1, as Huawei showed us. Next year the prices will drop to $100 for the same hardware that can run Android 2.2, the most optimized and fastest version so far.
This means Nokia will start feeling the heat next year in the feature market, as well, not just in the smartphone one. For a while, Nokia actually thought they can escape to their feature market without even fighting the smartphone war anymore. But they can’t escape the Android army it seems. Android will trickle down to the cheapest phone you can make, even if it takes a decade, but it will get there. In the same time it would push Nokia out of the market with their feature phones that are much less useful than an Android smartphone.
Google is in a bit of trouble in China and not the Chinese companies are taking out their Google Apps, but they might be able to at least capture the Indian market if they work closely with the local manufacturers.