Exclusive

Google Plans India Ad Blitz in Smartphone Bid

Google's Android chief, Sundar Pichai, introduces Android One in June. Photo by Bloomberg.
Google's Android chief, Sundar Pichai, introduces Android One in June. Photo by Bloomberg.

Google is planning a major spending effort on marketing its new Android One phones in India, in an ambitious play into a challenging but potentially huge market for smartphones.

The company, which announced the new Android One specifications for phones targeted at the developing market in June, has told potential partners that it would spend at least several hundred millions dollars to promote the phones starting this fall, according to two people involved in the conversations.

Beyond a foray into technology’s largest untapped consumer base, Google’s push represents another move in its chess game against Samsung and Apple. One person who has been involved in the Android One discussions says Google “sees a unique opportunity to go after Samsung” by partnering with new Indian manufacturing partners who could take market share from the Korean conglomerate. Samsung is Google’s biggest and most successful Android partner, but there has been friction over Samsung’s efforts to promote its own apps and services.

No subscription? You’re missing out.
Join the high-powered community of tech and business leaders who rely on The Information’s original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 1254 words of this article.
What’s included in a subscription?
Read The Information’s original, in-depth reporting and analysis
Receive as-they-happen articles via email
Talk with award-winning reporters in subscriber-only conference calls
Join the conversation on our subscriber-only Slack channel
Attend intimate, high-powered events with leaders in tech and business
Subscribe to The Information

Smartphone vendors shipped around 17.5 million smartphones in India in the first quarter, up from six million a year earlier, with $200-or-cheaper devices making up about 80% of that amount, according to IDC.


Login or Subscribe to follow the discussions happening here and real-time in our   Slack Community.
Read comments from top tech and industry leaders
Evan Spiegel
Evan Spiegel
CEO, Snapchat
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
Marc Andreessen
Marc Andreessen
Co-Founder, Andreessen Horowitz
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
Adam D'Angelo
Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
Brit Morin
Brit Morin
Founder & CEO, Brit + CO
Dustin Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
Max Levchin
Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
Alex Mather
Alex Mather
The Atheltic
Martha Josephson
Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
James Murdoch
James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
Andrew Kortina
Andrew Kortina
Founder, Venmo
Ben Chestnut
Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder & CEO, Mailchimp
Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
Google’s India-born Android chief, Sundar Pichai, who is from the Chennai area, has made no secret that the project is near and dear to his heart, according to people who have interacted with him. Inside of India, he and his colleagues have been framing the effort as a way to bridge the rich–poor digital divide.

RECENT ARTICLES