Android One not doing so well with online sales, retailers refuse to stock it

Android One not doing so well with online sales, retailers refuse to stock it
Just this September, Google introduced the first three phones to be manufactured under its Android One program – a project, which aims to bring affordable, yet reasonably spec'd smartphones to developing markets, starting with India. The devices to go on sale were the Spice Android One Dream, Karbonn Sparkle V, and Micromax Canvas A1.

All three models share similar specs – 4.5" display with a 480 x 854 resolution, a quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek SoC, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage – and their prices are pretty similar as well, revolving around $100. It's unknown who's idea it was, but Karbonn, Micromax, and Spice ended up only selling the phones online – via Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.

Unfortunately, people, it seems, didn't feel as inclined to go on an e-retailer's website and mass-order the Android One handsets. In fact, industry estimates say that only 12% of smartphone sales are done via online shops in India. Perhaps, not delivering the phones to physical shops was a mistake.

Now, Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice have decided to ship the devices to brick-and-mortar stores, however, retailers Croma, Future Group, Planet MRetail and Next Retail, BigC,Lot Mobiles, Reliance Retail and Sangeetha Mobiles – which tally up to 1,800 stores in the country – have decided against stocking Android One devices. The reason? There are two, actually.

First, the retailers were not very happy about the fact that the smartphones were only sold online during the initial launch and media hype stage. So now, they feel inclined to respond in kind and not help out the Android One program, when it needs to boost its sales. Secondly, Android One profit margins only tally up to 3-4%, when the norm in the country is 9-10%. So the retailers feel as if it's a "waste of energy" to stock up on and sell the devices. Furthermore, they generally feel that the $100 price segment already has enough good handsets for Android One to make a dent.

Spice and Karbonn, however, report that, once they started selling their devices offline, sales have grown exponentially. According to Spice, it has so far sold 100,000 Dream phones, 80% of which were bought offline. Karbonn, on the other hand, says that it sells 3,000 Sparkle V units offline per day, while its daily online sales tally up to just 500. Micromax hasn't commented.

source: TheEconomicTimes via Digital Trends



1. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

ugh... people could only afford an low end phone probably don't have the ability to get online to order a phone nor has the credit card to pay for it.

3. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014


28. peace247 unregistered

I am currently using karbonn sparkle v... Believe me it is better than moto e in everything except screen but not by great margin.... It runs buttery smooth... battery backup is not also not bad when compared to moto actually is smoother than moto g yes g..

38. sgodsell

Posts: 7419; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Yeah, sure buddy the rest of the world doesn't believe you that the mediatek quad core processor is better then a similar quad core Snapdragon processor. Not to mention those 3 manufacturers are all Indian companies.

45. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Android one handsets should be atleast 15% cheaper than the Xiaomi Redmi 1S(priced at $99, Snapdragon 400, 8GB, 4.7" 720p display). Then only people will show a great interest in Android One.

24. timukh

Posts: 295; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I am an Indian and I know what the main problem that is happening. 1. Price is high! I mean moto E with better screen, qualcomm processor and better battery is selling at the same price. So people are choosing it over mediatek. 2. The name! People who are buying the phone arent really sure what android one is! So they are thinking if it is risky to buy something they havent heard before. On the other hand normal android phones are available at the same price so they are going for that. 3. This is google's mistake! Update? Really google? You are expecting people who will buy this low cost phone to have wifi at their home? So an update doesnt matter for them because they cant. These are the top 3 reason of it being a failure that I think as an Indian.

25. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Didn't they include free data to download updates?

29. diehardnokian

Posts: 147; Member since: Apr 27, 2014

yup they offer free software updates for 6 months

42. lucid.brat unregistered

Being indian I only think of one reason,why it is not available offline from the beginning

2. realjjj

Posts: 375; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

They are selling better than they should considering the poor pricing.

4. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Android one rs8k Redmi 1s rs6k with lte You decide

5. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

still android one. I hate the MUI skin. I like the material design

8. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Average Joe hate android one, awful camera with small battery, where Redmi fixed this up

27. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

You make no sense...

41. laughmi

Posts: 283; Member since: Oct 28, 2014

Redmi is the biggest waste of money. I agree Mi3 is really good. Redmi 1s heats like anything. People are using that phone to iron their clothes and cook rice on it. Still risk buying Redmi? Studpid decision. Coupled with Xiaomi has NO after sales, service support in India.

10. dimas

Posts: 3380; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Xiaomi products are good but rare to get. Their hunger marketing strategy is too conservative for the growing demand of their device.

16. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

The Redmi 1S doesn't have LTE. I know because I'm using it right now

32. alexsupertramp unregistered

I wouldn't touch Xiaomi with a 10 foot barge pole. Still Android One.

6. boosook

Posts: 1442; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Google should sell Android One phones on the Play Store, just as they do with Nexus.

7. dimas

Posts: 3380; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Adding to damage, The 8Gb Asus Zenfone 4 retails for $100 and the improved model is around $120.Past September announcement and Android One already have so many rivals.

13. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

+1 for that, and I thought android CEO as Indian, Satya know best when nailing India market. Pftt

21. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Android ceo(director) is sundar pichai not satya nadella...

33. alexsupertramp unregistered

Oww..!!! Shots fired.. ROFL

43. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

He was saying that the ceo of android should know better, where Satya is knowing what to do. He wasnt saying Satya was android ceo (director).

9. rocksy

Posts: 67; Member since: May 06, 2014

Google says Android One made for first time smartphone users. In india First time smartphone user buy phone for watching movies,camera,internet only. they even don't known about software update. they don't care about kitkat,lollipop. Google USP of guaranteed software update fail here. how many Indian shopping online ?

14. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Here's what First time buyer want, big screen, big battery, good camera, higher RAM as possible

18. SaintHelena

Posts: 397; Member since: Nov 05, 2014

+1 for that. lots of first time buyer don't have tablet or computer they want all-in-one phone. 5.5 inch - 6.0 inch phablet rule this market.

35. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

12% if you read the article

36. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

12% if you read the article

11. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Another failure moonshot program by Google as usual. They'll quietly kill One just like they did Silver.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.