In its effort to capitalise on the huge market potential in India, Amazon has launched ‘Internet,’ a light-weight mobile web browser for Android phones.
India is the country with the second-largest group of internet users in the world, and tech companies are working hard to find ways to reach those users with their apps and services. But the country is a largely rural, and high-speed internet access isn’t really widely available. So, companies have started to build apps specifically for those conditions. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have all created “Lite” versions of their flagship apps. Now, Amazon has launched its own app for India – Internet.
Internet is a super lightweight web browser especially for Android phones, that also has privacy features that are important to everyone nowadays. Amazon says it’s “a lightweight, webview-based mobile browser, offering increased bandwidth savings, a small application size and reduced page load times.”
The browser offers its own homepage that with “news, cricket, and entertainment from top sources” and according to Amazon will support ads. For now, it’s targeted at India, where Amazon wants to beat local e-commerce competitor Flipkart, but it could be applied in a range of other “tier-2 markets where internet speeds are lower.”
Currently, there are many users in both tier-2 and tier-3 markets that are “getting into the online retail bandwagon,” explains Yugal Joshi, vice-president of Everest Group, a consulting and research firm based in Texas. The question on my mind is: Why did Amazon launch a browser? Why decide to drop into an already-crowded area like that?
Perhaps we will know soon… Either way, in the words of a user reviewing the new app on the Google Play store:
“No one needs this browser.”