In an effort to bolster the chances of success for the cut-down low-spec Android One platform, Google is reported to be planning an enormous marketing effort in India. With a population of more than 1.2 billion and very low smartphone penetration, Google views India as a market where they can establish Android One and fend off Apple before they make a serious push. In a nation with a per capita income of around US$1500, high-end smartphones have struggled, and that's where Android One is supposed to come in.
According to The Information, Google's marketing push for India will be huge:
The planned marketing spend will add to the outlay Google is already putting into the Android One line of phones, which will be made be made by local companies using Google's designs and software. Google representatives told a potential partner last year that the company might end up spending $1 billion overall for its India efforts, including subsidizing the hardware so the phones could retail for less than $100.
Considering that the entire advertising market for India last year added up to just $7 billion, the Android One campaign could be absolutely huge. Additionally, Google is said to be gearing the advertising more along the lines of how Apple advertises — "here's what it does and how it does it" type ads — instead of the celebrity-driven advertising that dominates the subcontinent.
In announcing Android One, Google announced their partnership with local manufacturers Karbonn Mobiles, Micromax, and Spice; to that list we can also add Celkon Mobiles. Those manufacturers are getting a substantial subsidy from Google in making those Android One devices, but in return Google is requiring that they run stock Android and setting the apps that will come pre-installed.
Source: The Information (subscription required)