Android One was announced earlier this year during Google I/O 2014 and while there are now Android One smartphones up for sale in India, it doesn’t look like Google and Co are finding the immediate success that they were perhaps hoping for. While the devices themselves are receiving decent reviews around the Internet it would appear that traditional retailers aren’t all that happy with Google’s decision to go ahead and sell them online before anyone else and now it seems their refusing to sell the devices at all.
According to a report in the Times of India, leading retailers of smartphones and electronics like Croma, Future Group, Planet M Retail, Next Retail, Sangeetha Mobiles, Reliance Retail and Lot Mobiles are choosing to not stock Android One devices from the likes of Karbonn and Micromax. MD of Sageetha Mobiles, Subhash Chandra had this to say: “Since Android One decided not to sell in physical stores during its launch, we as part of modern trade, have decided not to stock Android One either”. Android One devices like the Micromax Canvas A1, were launched online through Amazon and Flipkart and cost below RS 6,499. According to a CEO of an Electronics retailer, margins on Android One devices are far, far below that of the industry standard and it seems like retailers don’t want to stock and sell a device that doesn’t make them much money.
Who could blame them? While it’s understandable for Google and their partners to charge as little as possible in order to get Android One off the ground, it’s understandable too, that retailers aren’t keen on making much less on the devices than they would anything else. Not to mention that Motorola’s Moto G and Moto E devices have proven successful without breaking the mold when it comes to how retailers sell them. Without the support of local stores and brands, it would seem Android One is facing more difficulties than Google first expected.