With less than a million units sold in India, Android One hasn't gotten off to a great start. Google is now looking at ways it can beef up sales of upcoming handsets.
In an interview with Economic Times, Google's vice president of product management Caesar Sengupta reiterated the goals for Android One:
Many a times, we do stuff that is not about volumes but it's about advancing a point of view. Our goal here is to make sure that our end users are adapting to mobile experience and the next billion users have a good and compelling mobile experience.
Within Google, we're very happy with the progress of Android One. We will continue to take a lot of learnings and keep doing it better in every market that we go to. In India, when we do the next set of devices and launches, you will find us doing that better.
Sengupta mentioned that the lukewarm sales of the first-generation devices was due to lack of offline retail availability at launch, and that upcoming handsets will be widely available:
We've learnt a lot from the initial round with our partners and they have learnt in terms of device availability, in channel and others. Overtime, as we work with our partners we will keep working on making sure that we do things much better.
Initially, when we had launched, people couldn't buy them in all channels, that is something that we need to address. In our future (launches) with our partners, we want to make sure that we're truly available everywhere.
When asked if Google was looking to drop the Android One program altogether, Sengupta said:
No, we're not backing away from the program. We remain pretty committed to it. Android One is now in seven countries. Overall, we continue to work with OEMs (original equipment makers) across the board, local and large OEMs for bringing Android One's value proposition to many more markets. We are also thinking about specific phones for specific markets. We think of ourselves as more of a catalyst to the ecosystem. Android One is a very small part of Android, which is also what Google pushes.
Talking about Android One's roadmap, Sengupta said that upcoming devices will be offered across a wider price range, with partners likely to target the $100 to $200 segment.
Source: Economic Times