It’s no secret that India is one of the prime markets for Google right now, and the company has largely tried to make sure its products make it to the country in their first wave. Even Android Go, Google’s initiative to create a stripped-down version of Android for entry-level smartphones, has been developed with India as one of its key markets.
The Economic Times reports that Google is working on a midrange Pixel smartphone for “price-sensitive” markets, including India, that will be released in July or August, according to industry executives who recently had meetings with Google. Additionally, the tech giant is planning to expand distribution into general trade and increase spending on marketing similar to what Apple and Samsung have been doing in India.
Besides the Pixel phones, Google may also be planning to bring more of its devices to India. The report notes that the company is exploring the launch of the Google Pixelbook, Google Home smart speakers, as well as its IoT products like doorbells, cameras, alarm systems, and smoke detectors that are sold under the Nest Brand. It adds that Google plans to introduce all these products over the next year.
“Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realize the maximum potential of these products,” said a leading retailer who had participated in the meet to Economic Times.
Furthermore, Google also plans to amp up its offline presence by expanding brick-and-mortar distribution through hardware distributor Redington as well as “in-store branding and signage in selected stores, and set up exclusive zones with specially designed fixtures like Apple,” an executive said. Stores have accounted for 36 percent of Pixel sales in India while e-commerce sales account for 38 percent.
The main reason behind Mountain View not doing a rapid expansion is the issue of brand recognition — many Indians are still oblivious that the search engine also sells hardware.
Google is under investigation for abusing Android
Dominating the market comes with a price
Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.
Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.
India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.
The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.
Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.
Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.
Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.
Xiaomi has become an undisputed leader by market share
Can Samsung turn the tides this year?
For more than a year, Xiaomi has been leading the Indian smartphone market in terms of market share and there’s no stopping them. The brand has single-handedly managed to oust local brands like Micromax, and even experienced players like Samsung have taken a hit.
According to IDC, in Q4 2018, Xiaomi managed to grab an astounding 28.9 percent of the market, followed by Samsung at 18.7 percent. While Vivo and OPPO have managed to grab a decent 9.7 percent and 7.1 percent respectively, their rate of growth has slowed down considerably.
If we consider the complete year of 2018 against 2017, Vivo has managed to grow just 0.6 percent year-over-year and OPPO actually dipped by 0.3 percent. The report also says that online-focused brands drove the online channel share to an all-time high of 38.4 percent. On the other hand, offline sales registered a meager 6.7 percent growth.
During the last quarter of 2018, Realme managed to grab quite a huge chunk of the market with a share of 7.5 percent. The sub-brand of OPPO was launched just half a year back and has already released a wide array of phones.
The average selling price of phones continued to be in the budget segment at roughly US$ 158 (INR 11,000). More than half of the shipments belong in the US$ 100 to US$ 200 segment, and that’s where brands intend to lead.
In the end, Xiaomi shipped more than 40 million units in 2018, followed by Samsung with almost 32 million. Samsung had been relatively silent last year, but has now changed strategy with the M-series launch. The South Korean giant is focused on taking back the budget and midrange segments by reportedly launching a plethora of phones in the coming months.
Xiaomi puts up new sports shoes for crowdfunding in India
It doesn’t have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
For those who are unfamiliar, Xiaomi is not all about electronics. If you visit their Mi Stores, you’ll see a variety of products from phones and TVs to rice cookers and backpacks. Adding to the plethora of products under the umbrella of Xiaomi is the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2.
Xiaomi’s venture into footwear is not new; they released a few smart shoes already in China and select markets. This newest one is available in India on the company’s crowdfunding platform.
The shoes are currently priced at INR 2,499 or roughly US$ 35 during the funding period. It’ll go up to INR 2,999 or US$ 42 once they go sale, so you might want to pitch in before it starts shipping in March.
You might be thinking what kind of shoes Xiaomi is offering here. As listed on the crowdfunding page, the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 (quite a long name) has a “5-in-1 Uni-Moulding Technology” which combines five different materials to minimize wear damage. It also has a “10-fishbone structure” for improved balance while offering arch support.
It doesn’t have any batteries or Bluetooth like previous Xiaomi smart shoes, so this is one of the Xiaomi products you can throw in the washer for easy cleaning.
Like Xiaomi’s phones, the available colors are limited to blue, black, and dark gray. If you want your own, we highly suggest signing up and ordering immediately here.
Kingdom Hearts III review: More for long-time fans
It didn’t spark joy
ASUS ZenBook 15 review: Everything you need in a laptop?
With great power, comes all the caveats in between
Trying out the Gixo Fitness App: A personal fitness trainer on your smartphone
Get fit on your phone!
Xiaomi partners up with Alita: Battle Angel for a transparent Mi 9
Samsung Galaxy M20 hands-on: Give the users what they want
GadgetMatch celebrates the Predator League APAC 2019 championship!
What could the new unicorn Xiaomi Mi 9 be called?
TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?
How to take IG-worthy selfie portraits
Neutrogena’s Light Treatment stick will target your pimples
How to work your smartwatch: For #OOTDs and everyday productivity
A glimpse at the smart kitchen’s wireless future
Apps2 weeks ago
Dark mode is in the works for Chrome, coming to Windows 10 and macOS
Apps2 weeks ago
Instagram hides your story’s viewer list after 24 hours
Apps2 weeks ago
Facebook now lets users unsend messages on Messenger
Giveaways1 week ago
Galentine’s Day giveaway: Win a Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite!
Deals2 weeks ago
Huawei Mate 20 sees biggest price drop to date in the Philippines
Her GadgetMatch2 weeks ago
New 2019 emoji unveiled, hand pinch emoji steals the show
India2 weeks ago
OPPO K1 is a budget phone with an in-display fingerprint scanner
News1 week ago
Huawei Y7 Pro 2019: Price and availability in the Philippines