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Google to Turn Eyes to African Countries for its Android One Program

by Woody Oh | Aug 21, 2015

After some lukewarm responses from India and several other Asian countries with its Android One-powered smartphones for the last one year, Google has now turned its attentions to other region/countries, and expanded its Android One coverage into six African countriesNigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco -, and launched the first device, "Hot 2" in Nigeria this week.

This device, created by Infinix, a relatively less-known smartphone producer headquartered in Hong Kong, has been designed in France, and manufactured in China, featuring 1GB/2GB DRAM, 16GB ROM, dual-SIM support, 5 inch HD display and 2,200mAh battery capacity, priced for US$70 in wholesale.

Android One in Africa_Infinix

The question would be whether Google would be able to post some meaningful market share with this initiatives in Africa, but it looks like a stiff challenge given some established market dynamics in Nigeria and Egypt, identified from our report, 'Smartphone Vendor Marketshare for "Next 15" Emerging Countries: Q2 2015', published under our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service, tracking the quarterly smartphone vendor shares in 15 emerging countries including Nigeria and Egypt.

These two countries are already dominated by Samsung, Huawei, TCL-Alcatel, and a few other Chinese and local vendors, so it would be essential for Google to partner with more powerful OEM's who already have the established brand awareness and distributional influence there.
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