Originally published: October 12, 2010
Last updated: October 12, 2010 - 2:41pm
Google is pushing to become a significant player in India's huge wireless industry as a range of little-known Indian handset makers release low-cost devices that include the tech giant's Android operating system in coming months.
Android lends functionality to smartphones, including touch-screen capability and a large marketplace of small software "apps." It has gained market share quickly this year in developed countries such as the U.S., powering several devices that have sold briskly. Android lends functionality to smartphones, including touch-screen capability and a large marketplace of small software "apps." It has gained market share quickly this year in developed countries such as the U.S., powering several devices that have sold briskly. Google is setting its sights on the masses in developing countries like India, which has 670 million cellphone subscribers and has been adding about 18 million a month recently.
Most of the initial Google-powered phones in India from global handset makers such as Motorola Inc. and HTC Corp. cost upward of $400—a high price for a market where 42% of the population of 1.2 billion people earns less than $1.25 a day. To target India's vast middle class, Google is banking largely on a crop of inexperienced Indian smartphone manufacturers including Micromax Informatics Ltd., Spice Mobility Ltd., and Olive Telecom to make Android phones in the $150 range, and eventually the sub-$100 level.
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