Leading retailers refuses to stock Android One devices, to receive Android 5.0 Lollipop update in January
Google created a revolt in September by launching the first three Android One smartphones in the sub-$100 price bracket. Google initially launched three such smartphones which include Spice Dream UNO, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Micromax Canvas A1 with similar specifications and sold them online. The project that was aimed to deliver affordable and reasonably specced smartphones in the emerging markets seems to be in trouble.
As per the industry estimates, only 12% of the smartphone sales happen via online in India. It appears like for this reason the Android One phones have not managed to entice the consumers and their physical availability would have helped Google.
Following this, the Android One partners including Spice, Micromax and Karbonn have decided to ship their offerings to the retail stores across the country. However, retailers such as Croma, Future Group, Planet M Retail, Next Retail, BigC, Lot Mobiles, Reliance Retail and Sangeetha Mobiles with a vast network of stores in the country will not be stocking up the Android One devices.
There are two reasons for these retail chains to go against selling the Android One smartphones. The first one being that the retailers were unhappy as the smartphones were sold online after their initial launch. Eventually, they are inclined to respond to the manufacturers and are not willing to help them out to boost the sales of the lineup.
The second one is that the Android One profit margins account to 3 to 5 percent, while the norm in India is 9 to 10 percent. This makes the retailers think that stocking of the Android One devices would not be of use. Moreover, the $100 price bracket has several notable handsets for the Android One offerings to create a difference.
In the meantime, the Android One devices that are based on stock Android are expected to receive the Android 5.0 Lollipop update soon. As the Nexus devices have already received the update, we might hear about the imminent update for the Android One program.
While Google has not revealed any details regarding the rollout of this update, Spice Mobility’s CEO, Prashant Bindal has announced that the Dream Uno smartphone will receive the Lollipop update in January 2015. It is believed that when the update reaches the Spice offering, the other Android One devices will also receive the Lollipop update.