Google plans to revive the Android One programme in India when it is able to launch a $50 smartphone, according to a statement by Rajan Anandan, the company’s managing Director in Southeast Asia. He made the remarks in an interview to the Financial Times.
According to a report on The Verge, Anandan said in the FT interview that the company will unveil a new plan for Android One in the coming weeks, although he admitted that Google’s ambitious program has “not delivered to expectations.”
A $50 Android One smartphone would approximately be close to Rs 3200 in India, much lower than the original Android One phones, which launched at Rs 6999. More recently, Google teamed up with Lava to launched a new mid-range Android One smartphone, the Lava Pixel V1 which is priced at Rs 11,350.
Lava Pixel V1 offers considerably higher specs than low-budget Android One phones launched in September 2014. Google had earlier partnered with Karbonn, Micromax and Spice in India and all three phones had the same specs.
Google’s Android One aims to offer stock version of the mobile OS and the promise of updates to the next version on low-budget devices. This also puts focus on Google’s key services such Google Play, Google Music, Gmail, etc, another crucial area of focus for the tech giant.
Where Android One’s first stint in India was concerned, according to Counterpoint Research the cumulative shipments of these smartphones were to hit 1 million by the end of December 2014. The report noted that the phones would face tough competition from Xiaomi and even other devices from the very OEMs manufacturing Android Ones.
Anandan’s latest comment about cheaper Android One phones in the future along with the launch of a new mid-budget Lava Pixel V1, indicate that so far Google has not given up on its ambitious smartphone program.
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