What is Android One?
Android One is the name for a project introduced by Google this year in India targeting the budget smartphone segment. But as per the market reports, it hasn’t worked out as planned. Three phones launched by Micromax, Karbonn and Spice were initially made available in September this year; exclusively online, but it did not attract as much money as the hype it had made. Thus eventually Google had to shift to retail shops. According to The Economic Times, major electronics retailers like Croma, Planet M retail etc, have not stocked the phones because of a far lower margin of 3-4% than 10-11% available on other devices.
Expansion of Android One
The aim of Android One was to make an android phone available to everyone by sourcing the hardware locally in a country and Google being in charge of the software side of things. Now, Google is expanding the Android One base to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka – countries where the low end smartphone market is quite successful. The search giant has said that a number of devices under the Android One banner are going to be launched over a few weeks with existing partners Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, who will serve these three markets as well, helped along by the Bangladesh-based Symphony, which is preparing to launch a phone called the Symphony Roar A50. Just like in India, these devices will be available in all these markets for approximately 100 USD.
Future of Android One
As of now, Android One may not be as successful in India as Google wants it to be. But it holds great scope, with Google handling the software side and yet the phones being rather inexpensive will make them a viable attractive option. But Google needs to understand that it has competitors like Xiaomi, Huawei and now Micromax’ Yu as well! The reason why Android One products are not selling as well as they can, is that there are many other products which do a better job at the same price. Also there is next to nothing when it comes to marketing, as is usual with Google backed devices.
Although Android dominates the lower end segment worldwide, most of these devices have modified, under performing versions of Android and some are even missing the Play Store. Some of those phones are still running Gingerbread. When Android One was first announced, it promised two main advantages over generic, cheap Android phones. First, it standardized specs for low-end phones, thus improving performance for phones running inexpensive MediaTek chips and giving full support for Google’s services.