To provide increased access to the internet and digital services to the masses, India needs to concentrate more on entry level smartphones, the cost of which should be around $30 which would be roughly equivalent to Rs. 2,000/-, according to Google’s India born chief Mr. Sundar Pichai.
Pichai expressed his views while addressing an audience which consisted of about 3,500 students and teachers at his alma mater in IIT – Kharagpur during his recent visit to India. He further added that the focus should also be on areas like local language support and improving connectedness in India as the nation becomes a global player in the ‘digital economy’.
In 2014, Google had launched its ‘Android One’ programme, partnering with handset makers, to launch high-quality, yet reasonably priced Android devices for consumers in emerging markets like India. Some of these handsets were launched in partnership with Indian mobile handset manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice.
The devices launched that time were priced at Rs 6,399 onwards, but since then many more affordable smartphones with improved features have hit the market.
Currently, there are smartphones available even for sub-Rs 1,000 but most of the sought after devices devices are priced above Rs 3,000.
When asked about by when India would be able to catch up with China on the digital front, Pichai said he is confident that India will soon be a global player in the digital economy.