Aatif Sumar, writing on UnleashThePhones, lists down 10 steps that Google has been strategically taking over the last 6 months to step up its game in India. If you look at all these as an Indian consumer, you’ll realize how much of a difference they actually make. He also makes a very good point:
Until Google has Operator Billing, all their efforts of making money from customers in India are in vain, since a vast majority of Indians do not have easy access to Credit Cards, or do not trust their Credit Card details being on the internet somewhere. In fact, most people don’t even have bank accounts in India. Using Debit Cards on the Play Store is hit and miss. Operator Billing is the perfect fit in such a market since all mobile users trust their Service Provider enough to purchase something that gets added to their mobile phone bill, or gets cut from their balance.
Consider the approach Samsung has been taking in India — fill the market up with phones for every price slab, offer different combinations of features and introduce their special “Duos” (Dual-SIM) phones. Today, almost every other smartphone you see out there in this country is a Samsung. And then combine this fact with the improvements Google has been bringing to Android lately.
I’m from the Apple “fanboy” club, but I’ll say the Cupertino giant has lost this race before it could even begin.