If Google want Android – along with all their other offerings – to keep on being successful then they need to start looking at emerging markets in the East, and that’s just what they’ve been doing these past couple of years. Android has really taken off in India and while a lot of it was from homegrown vendors like Micromax, Spice and company, 2014 was the year that Google set their sights on the Indian market. earlier this year we saw Google launch the Android One initiative, a way of making sure budget-minded smartphones continue to use the latest version of Android thanks to a careful mix of hardware and software directly from Google. Android One devices launched earlier this year from Micromax, Spice and Karbonn and now Google is making their mark in other ways in India.
Earlier today, Google founded the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA), a new organization to help bring more than 300 Million Indian-speaking people online by 2017. For Google, the challenge isn’t to make things easier for the 200 Million Internet users that are already proficient with what the web has to offer, as they’re English-speaking users. Instead, it’s how to make it easy for almost 90% of the population that aren’t online to get online using their smartphones, which for a lot of people is going to be the first device they ever use to do so. Android One is another large piece of the puzzle, covering the hardware side of things, that Google hopes will get devices into the hands of first-time smartphone users. With the ILIA, Google is looking to make things easier for these new users. Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director Google India has this to say at the launch of the new group:
“Google is very committed to bringing new Internet users online in India.The Web holds great potential to empower many Indians economically and socially, and thanks to the smartphone revolution, many millions of Indians will be coming online for the first time in the next few years. Through the Indian Language Internet Alliance, we want to help content creators to act now and build relevant content for these new Indian language mobile users.”
To get things started, Google has officially launched voice search in Hindi, enabling Hindi-speakers to simply speak queries as we do here in the West. This is a small step, but it’s a good way to get things started and we’re sure that Google has big plans for the ILIA and we’re only going to see more on this front, as Google expands their operations in the areas.