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Google Plans Spending Spree to Promote Android One in India

by Jacob Kleinman | July 17, 2014July 17, 2014 9:00 am PST

Google I:O 2014 Android One

Last month Google announced Android One, the company’s plan to bring Android smartphones to developing countries—specifically India—for about $100 each. Now two new reports suggest the search giant is gearing up for a massive marketing blitz to promote these new handsets, though exactly how much money Google plans to spend is up for debate.

According to The Information, Google is planning on spending “several hundred million dollars” to promote new Android One phones in India. Then there’s a another report from The Economic Times claiming the company will spend significantly less (around $17 million) to promote the new devices. Clearly Google is throwing its weight behind Android One, though how many millions of dollars it is actually spending is still a mystery.

The Economic Times also offers a timeframe for Android One’s launch, claiming the first devices will launch in India this October around the same time as Diwali, an annual Hindu festival. Sundar Pichai, who heads Google’s Android, Chrome and Apps departments, will apparently visit the country to help launch the new smartphones.

As for the phones themselves, Google has reportedly tapped Indian companies including Micromax, Karbonn and Spice. According to earlier reports Taiwan chip-maker Mediatek is also working closely with the search giant to build processors for the new smartphones.

Though details are still sparse, it looks like Android One could be as big a launch as any major flagship phone from Samsung, HTC or Apple. Google clearly sees huge potential in India and other emerging markets, though we wouldn’t mind seeing these super cheap Android phones go on sale in the U.S. as well.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...