Android News

Google gearing up for increased presence in Asia, treading on NOKIA’s turf

July 1, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka



Recent AdMob data suggests that Android is strongest in North America and Western Europe, and weaker in Asia and Eastern Europe. Expect that to change if Google has its way.

BusinessWeek reports that Google plans to increase Android’s reach in India and China. Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin told BW that his company will work to put Android on more devices in Asia, citing Huawei and LG as two partners. Google will offer more assistance to phone makers and create new ways to monetize apps to increase Android adoption.

The Google team revealed at I/O 2010 that it would soon make an aggressive push into Latin America, but I think it’s smarter to make Android adoption in Asia Google’s top priority. A third of the world’s population resides in China and India and both countries are “emerging markets” (growing economies with increasing buying power) in which Googles wants to be a major player. They’ll also have to make paid apps more accessible for international users.

Nokia has a stranglehold in Eastern Europe and Asia based on data from AdMob and other sources. However, as Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi points out, it could be cheaper for Asian companies to build Android phones now that chipmaker MediaTek has joined the OHA. It currently costs about $200 to deliver a low-cost Android handset compared to $170 for low-cost Symbian phones.