Google’s Android One project launched back in September 2014. The company has partnered up with three Indian smartphone manufacturers in order to release three smartphones which will sport the vanilla version of Android, so that Google can take care of the updates. The point here was to provide up-to-date software to consumers, and also create really affordable devices at the same time. Micromax, Karbonn and Spice all launched one device, and everything seemed in order at the time. Unfortunately for those companies, the Android One devices didn’t exactly sell that well at first, they still don’t actually. We’ve talked about the reasons behind slow sales a number of times, but marketing and competition are definitely a big part of it.
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The Mountain View giant chose India as the launch region for the Android One program for a reason, Indian market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. Many manufacturers are pushing their devices over there at the moment, and Google not only wanted to make sure available vanilla Android devices are available, but spread the brand quite probably. According to reports, the company managed to sell only about 2 million Android One handsets in 2014, in which the devices were available for approximately three months. This information is provided by MediaTek by the way, a company which provided SoCs for Google’s Android One devices.
The Android One program has spread to more countries over the past few months, countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and it seems like Google might be planning to push it even further. Latin America seems like an obvious choice at this moment. Android is already holding the vast majority of the Latin American market at the moment, and Android One might be well received over there. Android held 80% of Latin American smartphone market in the fourth quarter of 2014, which is interesting. Samsung, Motorola and LG were the largest Android vendors in Latin America at the end of 2014.
We’ll have to wait and see what will Google’s next move be, as already mentioned, the Latin American region seems like an ideal next step. The company will have to find a way to market this devices though, the sales are not exactly commendable. Let’s see what happens.