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Android One Hits Up Indonesia

Jakarta. American tech giant Google is set to launch its low-cost smartphone line in Indonesia this month, joining the competition to capture the country’s increasingly connected population.

The Android One smartphone — which will be available at no more than Rp 1.4 million ($110) in physical stores and online — will be manufactured through three local partners: Evercoss, Mito and Nexian, according to an official statement on Wednesday.

“We’re very excited to offer Android One smartphones in Indonesia. With our local partners like Evercoss, Mito and Nexian, we’ve successfully designed a high-quality phone with an affordable price. We can’t wait to hear the reactions of Indonesian consumers,” Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Google Indonesia’s product management division, said in a statement.

In addition to the three local vendors, Google is also working with Telkomsel — the country’s biggest service provider — which will offer cheaper data packages for buyers.

Local phone producer Mito said in a statement on Wednesday that it will offer the device under the name Mito Impact Android One with a price below Rp 1.2 million.

The Jakarta Globe reported before Google’s announcement that listed handset manufacturer and distributor Erajaya Swasembada will also be offering Android One phones in their stores.

“We will hopefully be involved in the next step of sales before this year ends,” Djatmiko Wardoyo, corporate secretary at Erajaya Swasembada, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.

“Hopefully, we will make phones supported by the Android One brand. It will not be the Venera brand that we’re currently producing at Teletama Artha Mandiri. It will be another brand, but we can’t say more details on it yet.”

Indonesia is the fifth country where Google will offer its Android One brand after India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. With the Android One, Google hopes to help bridge the connectivity gap in Indonesia, which has seen a rise in Internet and smartphone users.

Smartphone shipments in Indonesia are forecast to reach nearly 30 million units this year, up 20 percent from last year, according to the International Data Corporation.

Before Google and its Android One brand, Xiaomi — a Chinese smartphone vendor — released its budget smartphone brand, the Redmi 1S, in Indonesia last year as part of its expansion outside of Greater China.

Under the program, Google provides basic smartphone specifications to local manufacturers that will make the device under their brand with the Android One name. The smartphones are viewed as being more consistent in service and providing a dependable experience compared to counterparts, since the software is upgraded directly by Google, instead of by the phone makers.

Google’s timing in launching its Android One program in Indonesia comes when the government plans to require all phone manufacturers to produce devices domestically by the end of this year — a move which may hamper some of the company’s competitors.

Source: Android One Hits Up Indonesia