Give me a superphone too

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January 11th, 2010 Priyanka Joshi

Why should we be excited for a phone that has no near-term intentions of making a debut in India — a land of 500 million plus mobile phone subscribers of which 20 million or so use a smartphone device? The answer is simple –it heralds Google’s plunge into a segment where it made its presence felt till now only through Android mobile platform. Secondly, although the handset is not the first to use the Google mobile operating system, called Android, it is the first device that the company has designed itself down to the last detail.

But Google, which has a large presence in India didn’t even bother with an India launch plan when it unveiled the phone this week. Okay, so who needs it any way? And Allen Nogee, Principal Analyst,Wireless Technology, In-Stat thinks so too. “To better fit into the market in India, it (Nexus One) needs to support the phone technologies supported in India, or at least a CDMA version.  In addition, an application store just for the India market would be a big benefit, allowing developers in India the chance to design applications just for the India market.” That’s so right, Ms Nogee.

Yet when I see my friends in Singapore and Canada reciting tales of how they booked the superphone via Google’s web portal, some got the unlocked for $530, and others booked the carrier bundled-Nexus One for around $180, it only reminds me of my developing nation status. Sad, but true that Indian markets are never really the top choice for launching a technologically advanced device. Case in point - Apple’s 3GS phone that seems dismissive of hit the Indian fans, Kindle that came to India but at prices that it remains an exclusive device, Sony’s e-reader is not even bothered about Indian consumers and now Nexus One joins the ranks.

I can’t stop myself from lusting after this device ever since I read that Nexus One is powered by the super-fast Qualcomm QSD82350 (Snapdragon) 1GHz processor that leaves iPhone 3GS’s slower 600MHz processor far behind. Unlike iPhone which only has an internal storage, Nexus One has a microSD card slot (expandable up to 32GB and will ship with 4GB card. Another sigh!

While I would like to believe that the phone does hold potential in many international markets (like India) and could even eat into the share of dominant players like Nokia, Samsung and BlackBerry, mainly because smartphone users would love to try Google — a well-trusted name in its choice of hardware. But Google clearly thinks it is better off without a distribution plan for India.
I need to see how long the company like Google can afford to be a snob when it comes to launching new technologies in developing economies like ours.

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10 Responses to “Give me a superphone too”

  1. Sumit Says:

    Interesting point. Doesn’t that sound like Google is saying:
    Yeah we have made a new phone which will surely excite the people around the world.
    But hey, we want feedback from a selected list of countries and feedback from India doesn’t really matter as Indians simply take whatever is thrown at them!!

    I think, we have been really very foolish with all this number game.500 million users, 20 million smart phones etc. etc.
    We love stats. We love those millions but surely we got to improve the quality of whatever we do.
    A country with just 1/5th of our population is far ahead in all the fields they compete. Surely something is not really right with this ‘number power’. We have got to make our presence felt as a ’smart’ nation and not as a ‘nation with a large population’. Sooner or later everyone will notice us and expect response from us.

  2. leon Says:

    @ At > the point is why not have a global launch in a country that can make all the difference to the sales number?

    we know that superphone will eventually make way to india but when and why the delay is th question we all are wondering

  3. at Says:

    stop cribbing

    its a for profit business, the phone will come to india when the cost justifies, initially they need to sell more to get the returns.

    simply ask yourself - if you want to launch a mid-range product in india, and want sales asap, would you launch in delhi/mumbai OR bihar ?
    yes, thats the comparision, dont overestimate yourself.

  4. reply Says:

    reply to mohit: is it really going to out in feb? but how come company is not saying so

  5. Pucca ghati Says:

    Google like other WASP countries , add Japan will always do this . High time INFY ,TCS and others design our own smart phone , build it in Taiwan and launch .that is assuming that they are competent . That’s when Google will take us more seriously . A 400 $ phone is nothing today , so why wait why not take the market ourselves . Somebody outside the charmed Gujju/Marwadi/Southy circle or is it mafia will have to do it NOT these licence permit raj Vultures .

  6. mohit Says:

    nice phone….
    u can have this
    on feb 2010
    for Rs. 26000+
    i have booked it for my brthdy present.

    its a great phone…biigest advantage……google search ….for free on mobile…..

  7. Hetal Says:

    Hi Priyanka, you have written very well… keep it up.

  8. Paolo Says:

    Nainika: I agree. Google needs to answer why it won’t think india as a suitable ground for this superphone.

    Howevr I also believe that unless they facilitate the aNdroid store for Indian user the phone won’t matter. It’s not abt the hardware anymore it’s software that drives this superphone

  9. Nainika Says:

    I wanted the 3gs and now I loved the slimness on this nexus one. ReAlly hoping that google will read this post and give some answers

  10. Sanjay Says:

    Good take priyanka. I totally agree with you. Why people delay their product launch here in India when there are many who say that India is a good market place. Having Nexus here would have definitely caught the attention of people who are using Iphones, blackberry etc.



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