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Google Android One reboot imminent

Google is planning on relaunching its Android One affordable smartphone initiative, according to a new report.

The company has revealed that it isn’t finished with Android One, and will announce new plans for bringing cheap smartphones to India over the coming weeks.

That’s according to Google’s Rajan Anandan, who told the Financial Times that the company planned to place new sub-$50 smartphones at the heart of a massive investment push into the Indian market.

Android One launched with a range of cheap smartphones in New Delhi almost a year ago, but has struggled to gain traction in the territory ever since. Anandan said that there had been supply chain issues that had led to shortages of the phones.

He also claimed that the $100 (around £65) price tag of the initial Android One handsets was too expensive, or at least well beyond the Rs2,000 and Rs3,000 (£20 to £30) sweet spot for mass adoption in the country.

Google’s Android One plan, then, is to lower its hardware costs significantly.

In a country that will hit 500 million internet users in 2017, it’s easy to see why Google is interested in putting a marker down.

Read More: What is Android One?

The company faces its fair share of challenges, however, including a tiny digital advertising market and extremely slow internet connections. The former means that Google will struggle to monetise search traffic in the country, while the latter means that top Google services like YouTube and Maps simply don’t work as well as they do in other countries.

Google won’t be giving up on India, however. “We’re here really because 10 years from now a billion Indians will be online and when we have a billion Indians online we think that’s going to make a huge difference to the global internet economy,” said Anandan.

Watch as we go hands-on with the hottest affordable phone around, the Moto G 3:

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