Google is opening several Android Nation retail stores across India as part of its efforts to extend the mobile platform's presence in the Indian market. The first outlet will be launched in New Delhi later this year, with a total of 50 planned for the country.
Android Nation retail stores are currently only present in Indonesia where it opened last year, making India now the second nation to house the physical stores.
According to a report by The Times of India, Google has partnered BK Modi's electronics retailer Spice Global to set up the retail stores in various locations across India. The first is set to open in New Delhi's Select Citywalk shopping mall, a premier location in South Delhi. The report further noted that Google's agreement with Spice Global is not just confined to India as there are plans to open more locations in the Middle East, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Africa.
Within India, Spice Global currently operates around 900 Spice Hotspots which sell various mobile phone brands and accessories. After the opening of the first Android Nation store, the plan is to convert about 50 of these Spice Hotspots into Android Nation stores to enable rapid expansion of the franchise.
The Android Nation locations will also give Google a chance to sell their popular Nexus lineup in official retailers across India, where the devices currently are available online from the Google Play store in India.
Obviously, this latest move will give the U.S. Web giant more exposure as many people in India aren't even aware of the Nexus lineup to begin with. What's interesting about the Android Nation locations is that Google also plans to sell other Android products from companies such as Asus, HTC, Samsung, and Sony, to name a few.
The introduction of the Android Nation stores could also provide an advantage for Indian brands, such as Karbonn and Micromaxx, assuming their Android product offerings would also be sold in these locations. In any case, Indian brands still have dominance and high market penetration in bazaars, markets, and vendors littered across India.
This itself is what could be hurting Indian brands. Very few, if any at all, are fairly represented or sold at upscale shopping malls and complexes across India. It may suggest they are inferior products, when in fact, they're sold all over India and clearly are not inferior.
Perhaps Google and the Android Nation locations will give the Indian brands their fair shot of exposure in places they were unable to reach before.