A scoop by a colleague and me earlier this week: Google’s taking another shot at low-cost smartphone success in India.
The story begins:
Alphabet Inc.’s Google helped launch a line of low-cost smartphones in India more than a year ago, part of a strategy to win more customers in fast-growing emerging markets. It was a flop.
Now, the tech giant is trying again by relaxing its rules, giving phone makers more latitude when it comes to features and price.
Google and India’s Lava International Ltd. plan to release a new low-cost smartphone in the coming months as part of the Android One program, people familiar with the matter say. The initiative aims to give users in developing economies an inexpensive way to get online through its Android mobile operating system.
Separately, I wrote an explainer: “Five Things to Know About Google’s Android One.”
Meanwhile, here’s a quick post I wrote about the search giant targeting India for its stratospheric Internet balloons effort, Project Loon:
Google parent company Alphabet Inc. says it is discussing with the Indian government an ambitious project to use high-altitude balloons to provide Internet access in remote areas, the latest sign of U.S. tech firms’ interest in the world’s second-most-populous country.
Known as Project Loon, the Alphabet plan involves a network of balloons floating in the stratosphere that would serve as “floating mobile-phone towers.” The initiative is meant to connect people who now lack online access.