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India can be a tough market for Google's AndroidOne: IDC

Google's ambitious move to address the fragmented Android ecosystem with its AndroidOne devices will help in redefining the affordable smartphone segment, but the Indian market will be a tough call for the US-based tech giant, feels research firm IDC.

Last month, Google launched AndroidOne range of devices in partnership with Indian handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice and mobile operators like Airtel and Reliance. The smartphones are priced Rs 6,399 onwards.

'Despite significant marketing spend already in evidence on AndroidOne, IDC believes India will be a tough crucible for Google. Blocked out of China, Google has no choice but to make a large downstream investment in the 'Next Billion' consumer segment in India,' the research firm said. India is the first country where the California-based firm's Android One devices have been launched. Roll out across other markets like Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka will follow in coming months.

Success in this segment will greatly enhance their ability to leverage Android to drive adoption by the Next Billion of the Google consumer cloud, it added.

'IDC believes that AndroidOne is crucial for Google to execute on its strategy to leverage the fast-growing Android user base to drive engagement for its increasing portfolio of essential Google services, including search, Maps, Google Now and others,' it said. A consistent user experience, or at least a vastly improved one, will greatly increase engagement and ultimately revenues, IDC added.
The research firm said it expects AndroidOne will attract significant sales and redefine the affordable smartphone segment by reshaping the mid tier with a range of devices that feature good enough device specifications for a fraction of the price compared to flagship devices.
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