After slowing down on its Android One project, and one of its executive suggesting the demise of the initiative, Google is prepping to revive its ambitious plan to further unify Android experience across low and affordable tiers. The company is pegged to launch a new Android One smartphone later this month.
In last one year, the Android experience in low-tier smartphones has drastically improved. Just one year ago, there weren’t many good smartphones in the low echelon segment, and the bunch that were there offered sub-par experience. But thanks to the advent of dirt-cheap and affordable smartphones by players like Xiaomi, and Motorola among others, that isn’t the case anymore.
Another big force that should be credited for the uplifting of Android experience is Android One initiative by Google. The Mountain View-based giant last year partnered with Indian vendors Karbonn Mobiles, Spice, and Micromax to provide them with the design guidelines to place identical hardware specs and stock Android OS with fast lane updates. The company also ensured that these phones carried $100 price tag.
The initiative was well received by critics. And for the first time, it seemed that Google was interested to clear up the mess that was crippling the Android experience in the low echelon segment, the userbase of which largely consisted of first-time smartphone users. The company did expand the market of Android One, launching in Indonesia and other APAC regions. However, despite the broadening, Google has been rather slow on the rollout of phones, with no second iteration in sight.
But a new ET report suggests that Google is on its way to launch a new smartphone. According to the report, Google has partnered with Indian vendor Lava to introduce a new Android One handset — being referred to as the version 2.0 — at an event in Delhi on July 14.
The report reveals a number of interesting details. For instance, the phone in question won’t be an affordable handset but instead will sport a 5-inch display with a MediaTek processor and 2GB of RAM — suggesting to be a high-end affair. The phone is pegged to priced at Rs 12,000, and the company is said to market it as an affordable Nexus smartphone.
The new phone could be significantly different from the first batch of Android One handsets. Several of its executives will be attending the event later this month, the report adds. It further goes on to note that the company, unlike the previous time when it had to rely on Chinese original devices makers (ODMs) and hence lose some control over the hardware and software, Lava and Google have worked together to make the phone.
The new Android One smartphone might bring one more change, the report says. Unlike the previous time when all Android One handsets were sold online, Lava is likely to make the new phone available to purchase at brick and mortar retail stores as well.