YouTube to go offline in India on Android phones

By AFP
Published: September 15, 2014
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Android One based mobiles are on display during its launch in New Delhi September 15, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Android One based mobiles are on display during its launch in New Delhi September 15, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: YouTube users in India will soon be able to save videos from the Google-owned service, making it possible to watch them offline, and the feature will eventually be available globally, the company said Monday.

The feature will be available through the YouTube app on Google’s new $105-Android One smartphones unveiled in New Delhi on Monday.

“YouTube will be available offline soon, starting with India,” Google India communications manager Gaurav Bhaskar told AFP.

Smartphones using Google’s Android operating system are used by more than one billion people globally and the new Android One phone is part of the company’s drive to reach out to billions more.

The company said the YouTube save service will be available soon but gave no date. It did not give any indication when it would be extended to other parts of the world.

The new YouTube save feature will be “a great benefit for when there is a slow connection or re-watching videos without using up the data plan”, said Bhaskar.

Google has tied up with local Indian handset makers Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles to make Android One Smartphones that will start at 6,399-rupee ($105).

“While 1.75-billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population — over five billion more — do not,” said Sundar Pichai, a senior Google vice president.

Google said the phones will be “high-quality” and “affordable” smartphones sold through online Indian retailers.

The new Google phones come with improved security features and more than a million apps, the company said.

Smartphone-makers are in a race to the bottom of India’s economic pyramid as they battle for customers in the fast-growing low-end market segment where analysts say opportunities are vast.

India is now the fastest-expanding smartphone market globally and the third-largest market after China and the United States, according to Britain-based consultancy Canalys.

The cheapest smartphones now retail at 2,000 rupees ($33), down from an average 15,000 rupees two years ago.

Technology consultancy IDC India projects annual smartphone sales growth of around 40 percent for the next five years in the price-sensitive nation, home to 33 percent of the world’s poor.

Smartphones now hold a 10 percent market share among India’s mobile-phone-using population, according to consultancy IDC.

Handset makers in India and other emerging markets have been leapfrogging fixed-line technology that was used in developed markets.

They are employing mobile broadband to deliver Internet access to people who have no computers.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Ishan
    Sep 15, 2014 - 10:45PM

    Wow! That’s amazing. :)

    Recommend

  • Sep 16, 2014 - 5:23AM

    “YouTube users in India will soon be able to save videos from the Google-owned service, making it possible to watch them offline, and the feature will eventually be available globally”

    Why all of these companies started their news service or product launches from India?

    Recommend

  • ajeet
    Sep 16, 2014 - 7:27AM

    Because India is synonymous with IT. We invented zero.

    Recommend

  • Ishan
    Sep 16, 2014 - 7:45AM

    @Ayesha, Because India is a huge market. Modi’s “Come, make in India” will also work in the near future.

    Recommend

  • oBSERVER
    Sep 16, 2014 - 3:11PM

    @Ayesha: because India is their testing lab. It is the rest of the world that is important.

    Recommend

  • sharabi
    Sep 17, 2014 - 10:56AM

    @Ayesha
    oh come on didnt you know about IT & INDIA

    Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Sep 18, 2014 - 7:03AM

    @Ayesha: the most important man at the helm is an Indian. be it Microsoft or Google.

    Recommend

  • Gp65
    Sep 18, 2014 - 8:34AM

    @Ayesha
    1) many company has R&D labs in India to take advantage of low priced engineering talent in India

    2) India is a diverse country allowing a productto be tested inmany dofferent circumstances making it robust for a global roll out

    3) products that succeed in India have a high chance of succeeding in a developing market.

    4) India is a large market for products with low pricepoint.

    @oBSERVER:
    You need Burnol

    Recommend

  • Np
    Sep 18, 2014 - 8:34AM

    Big deal. Youtube is also offline in Pakistan since September 2012

    Recommend

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