Android's Hindi version coming out soon

News Rishabh Jain 17:31, 12 Aug 2011

Samsung and Google are working on a Hindi version of the Android platform

Google will be developing a Hindi version of Android. The news comes via Asim Warsi, Samsung Mobile's director of marketing. The reason behind Samsung's India-centric approach is that India is one of the largest mobile markets in the world. Creating a foothold here can keep Samsung an edge over its competitors such as Apple. Currently, Android only supports major European languages and Chinese.

According to the market statistics, India has more than 875 million mobile subscribers and adds 20 million new subscribers every month. Out of this only 11 percent speak English, that too mostly as their second language.

Even though Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, we haven't had a dedicated version for it. One can only install the Hindi font via external applications such as Opera Mini or rely on translation softwares. This might be the main reason behind low consumption of mobile consumer services in this country.

India is the largest Android market in the world. The linguistic gap in understanding leads consumers to shy away from high-end Android phones.

Going a step further, we would like to point out that most of the languages in India use the Devnagri script. This entails that even an interface for local languages can be developed. Some of the local languages such as Bengali and Marathi should also not be ignored, as they constitute the voice of 400 million users.

Most Android users currently work on touchscreen phones. This works in Google's favor as it can create virtual keyboards, which provide the user an option to select his/her language from a drop-down menu. Google already has its own translation software known as Babel Fish that can easily be molded to the requirements of a smartphone or tablet.

This comes at the heels of Google's announcement that it’s new OS - the Ice Cream Sandwich would be centered on the Asian consumers.

Both Samsung and Google stand to benefit from this approach, as it has the potential to attract even more consumers towards the smartphone market.

But Google holds the key to this venture. According to Warsi, "Android is a third party operating system and so we do not have much control over it, but we are in talks with Google for such a version. However, we can't comment on when it will be done as that is not in our control."

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