Google phone hits Indian stores in December

By SiliconIndia   |   Saturday, 27 September 2008, 04:47 Hrs
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Bangalore: The much-awaited Google phone is finally ready for its debut in India. Taiwan handset major HTC is planning to launch the Android platform-powered phone, popularly known as the Google phone, here this December. HTC India, which has an exclusive partnership with Airtel, is also open to selling the G1 phone through independent retail channels. Though the price of the phone is not yet fixed for the Indian market, it is expected to be around 20,000, costlier than it U.S. price tag of $179. This could be so because of the absence of handset subsidy model in Indian market, reported Business Standard.

Labeled as competition to Apple's iPhone, which is priced at Rs 31,000 for the 8GB model, the HTC G1 could be priced cheaper to maintain an edge in India. Currently, HTC has smart-phones in the Indian market priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 35,000.

Based on Linux OS, Google announced had announced about the Android in November last year and was developed by the Open Handset Alliance - a group comprising players like Google, HTC, Intel, Motorola and Samsung. The device is a 3G phone with a touch-screen, slider keyboard, GPS and Wi-Fi. Google's software platform and operating system for mobile devices has the benefit of leveraging on more than 100 million online web users as well as its open source development platform and advertising-oriented business model. To spur the growth of third-party applications, Google recently announced the Android Market, similar to Apple's App Store, where consumers can buy and download content.

Research firm Strategy Analytics has predicted that the G1 could sell 400,000 units by the end of 2008, accounting for 4 percent of the smart-phone market. HTC India hopes to sell 600,000 mobile devices in 2009, having doubled sales this year from 100,000 in 2007.

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