I was pleasantly surprised when Google, in a bold move, decided to launch its own, no-frills, Operating System , the Chrome OS. Even more surprised seeing the Fast, Powerful and Reliable 199 USD Chromebooks. Hell, I am typing this on one of them right now. Chromebooks, after initial skepticism, were a rage among school students and anyone who was looking for a No-Nonsense basic Laptop/Netbook. All that was great. So why the heck when launched in India, for Rs. 22,999/-(~ 383 USD) (Acer Chromebook) A whopping 91% Premium ?? Rs.26,999/-(450 USD) for a 270 USD HP Chromebook.(66% premium) Are We Indians that Stupid ?
It reminded me of one of the golden lines of Marketing, ” The more you charge, the less people will complain.” It is apt for Indians. We are just not used to seeing a 199 USD laptop and are ready to pay double of that for premium apple ipads. Half of Indians would think it as a joke and the other half will doubt the quality and the functionality of a Web based OS(Chrome OS). Justified when one doesn’t have Reliable Internet Connectivity, isn’t it ?
It also makes business sense. Who the hell would buy a Rs. 20k(333 USD) ‘BRANDED’ mobile phone or a Rs. 45k (750 USD) laptop, when you can get 80% of your work done , twice as fast. And those too from the same Manufacturers who sell Laptops and phones in India, would severely affect their profit margins.
Another reason could be to limit the ‘Fire Sale’ these manufacturers suspected.Indians, seeing such a cost effective product actually being produced and sold, are likely to stand in queues to buy one. Effectively killing a market for Phones, Tablets and Laptops !
If Chromebooks, produced in China, could travel halfway around the world and could be sold for 199 USD with much fanfare, why the hell can’t they be sold in India, AT LEAST for the same price ??
Perhaps now you can get a hold of the Indian Mindset, and how choosy it has to be in selecting the dump of the First World Countries.
Sad and often overlooked angle of globalisation, I would say.
Thanks for reading ! Eagerly waiting for your Comments and Criticism !