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Mobile cos line up Google's Android phone launches
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#1
Google’s smartphone operating system
(OS) Android is soon going to get a leg up in India with leading cellphone vendors such as HTC,
G1-Android
Samsung, LG and Motorola firming up plans to roll out a portfolio of such handsets.

The vendors plan to target Android phones for urban youth users and position them in the mid to high-end segment. While HTC has just started shipping the first Android phone to India, Samsung will roll out its first device, christened Galaxy, next month.

Android phones from LG and Motorola’s stable are also likely to hit the market by December, industry sources said. Google too expects faster adoption of the Android platform in India with such launches at varying price-points.

Talking to ET, Google India director (products) Vinay Goel said 47 companies are working on the Android platform. “Globally, around 15-20 Android handsets will be launched by December. We expect some of these models will be shipped to India as well,” he said.


HTC has already received favourable response in India from its first Android handset. “Android is an evolving platform and will be one of the mainstay for HTC. It drives internet mobility and the touch factor adds novelty. Since, we roll out 2-3 devices in India every quarter, some of them will be on this platform,” HTC India country head Ajay Sharma said. Samsung Mobile country head Sunil Dutt said the company will launch a portfolio of touchscreen Android handsets by year-end.

“We will work with Google to ensure faster adoption of the devices in India. Android has the potential to emerge as the next big mobile phone OS,” he said. Vendors like Samsung, HTC and LG are bullish that Android will be able to compete against the two most popular smartphone OSSymbian and Windows Mobile.

“Our research has shown that consumers really don’t care about their handset OS. All they want are exciting applications and experience which are the main driving factors behind Android,” said Mr Goel. LG India’s head (GSM mobile ) Anil Arora feels the rest test for Android will begin next year when the population of such devices reach a critical mass. “The fact that Android allows much more flexibility to consumers for customising the look and feel of their handset could be a growth trigger,” he said.

Google believes vendors need to launch some handsets in the Rs 10,000-15 ,000 price range to target the mainstream Indian market and ensure Android’s success. “Android being open source, there is no license fee which can bring down handset prices,” Mr Goel said.

As of now, HTC’s first Android phone is sold in India at around Rs 30,000 and Samsung plans to launch Galaxy at Rs 29,000.

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