Google's big project in India appears to be failing
Google's Android One project, which aims to help people in the developing world buy smartphones and get onto the internet, is encountering some problems.
The three Indian phone manufacturers that were initially involved in producing the low-cost devices have no plans to create future versions of the smartphone, The Economic Times reports.
The Android One project works by letting local manufacturers create models of the phone under their own name.
But now, Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice say that they are putting existing phone models on sale to clear stock, the Economic Times reports.
Google had lined up another set of manufacturers to make the phone in India, but The Economic Times says that Intex, Lava, and Xolo have now dropped plans to create Android One phones.
Sanjay Kalirona, who heads up the mobile phones unit at Intex, told The Economic Times: "Everything was finalised, the product was ready but market response was not there, so we dropped the idea."
Despite the setback, Google maintains that it's pushing ahead with the Android One scheme. The company told the Economic Times: "We're not backing away from the programme. We've learnt a lot from the initial round with our partners and they have learnt in terms of device availability, in channel and others. Over time, as we work with our partners, we will keep working on making sure that we do things much better."
Sales data for Indian Android One phones shows that the devices accounted for between 2% to 2.5% of smartphone sales in India from September 2014 until May 2015. And sales estimates from Convergence Catalyst estimates the total number of Android One handsets sold in India since launch at less than 1 million units.
We reached out to Google for comment on this story.
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