Google Motorola set to return to India with low cost Moto G

When Google took over Motorola last year, they also stopped selling devices in India. Now, it's set to return with an affordable, low end handset: Moto G.
Written by Nitin Puri, Contributor

Google Motorola is set to re-enter India by January 2014 with the Motorola G, known as the Moto G, according to telecomlead.com. Prices have yet to be announced for India, but in the U.S., a Moto G without a contract is selling for US$179 for the 8 GB variant and US$199 for the 16 GB variant.

The specs include a 4.5 inch HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with a quad-core CPU, running on the Google Android 4.3 Jellybean OS. It's interesting to note that even for a device that has been recently launched, Google is still using the Jellybean OS instead of their latest OS, KitKat. Besides the wonderful name branding from Google for their OS, I've always loved Motorola's name branding too, especially for the Moto series. For those who don’t know, Moto translates to fat in most Indian languages, such as Hindi or Punjabi. Perhaps this is related to it's rather bulkier weight of 5 ounces, when compared to other smartphones currently available.

Google Motorola has decided to release this more affordable, low end device as sales of the Moto X have been slow, reports The Times of India. That being said, for the current U.S. pricing and specs, what's lacking between Moto G and Moto X is the Moto G's ability to continuously listen for a user's voice and respond to commands. Google Motorola's aim with the Moto G is to reach out once again to markets abandoned after the Google takeover, and obviously India is on their list to regain a strong customer base.

Unfortunately, Google Motorola has a tough battle ahead in India, as along with the bulkier weight of the Moto G, the pricing is not as aggressive as what other leading manufacturers are currently offering in India for the low end market. For example, Samsung's Galaxy Young, with a 3 inch screen and weighing just 3.4 ounces, sells for only US$100 on Amazon. Furthermore, Chinese handset makers such as Huawei and ZTE already sell Android devices as low as US$100 too. 

Clearly, sales of the Moto G and future devices from Google Motorola will depend on how well the devices are marketed in India. But even then, there is a big limitation. Since Google acquired Motorola, they have to be more cautious about selling hardware. If they are too aggressive, they could sell smartphones at a loss and make the money back later with ads, potentially harming Google's partners who sell devices using the Google Android OS.  This could also eventually drive people away from the Google Android devices too. 

That being said, at least the Moto G will be for sale in India soon. It won't be released in China, another huge market, as the Chinese government blocks some Google services, such as Google Play, which is its applications store. 

Editorial standards