Google’s Android One project is still alive and kicking, and from where we stand, this is good news for Android fans, particularly those looking forward to buying ultra-affordable and mid-range devices.
Caesar Sengupta, VP, product management Google, told Economic times, that Android one project is neither abandoned nor on hold. The company is learning from its mistakes with the first wave of Android One smartphones, and will be back with new improved products later this year. The focus is on improving consumer experience with Android One, and not on sales volume.
Exactly how bad did Android One perform?
Speaking of which, a total of 800,000 Android One smartphones have been sold so far, which is slightly less than what we guessed in our analysis. This isn’t bad at all! Especially in a market where 1200 new smartphones were launched last year, as Sengupta points out.
Second wave of Android One phones were expected at the beginning of this year, but Google’s silence on the matter was presumed as lack of interest.
- 800,000 devices is not a bad start, but lot less than what Google anticipated
This is good news
We have always had a soft corner for Android One project, as we still believe it is the best way to deliver latest Android updates to budget conscious buyers, and that matters.
With so many brands and devices running android, it is not possible to get things right with updates in one go. It takes several attempts for Google to rectify mistake and eliminate bugs even for Nexus devices. That is one of the reasons why 5.0 Lollipop was followed by v5.0.1, v5.0.2, v5.1 and so on. Other manufacturers, especially those offering custom Android simply can’t afford to deliver speedy updates on budget smartphones.
Android Lollipop update was delayed to Android One devices, but that is compensated by the fact that these devices were directly updated to V5.1. The latest 5.1.1 Lollipop update is also seeding on first set of Android One devices in India. Also, these are the only budget devices which show improved or at least stable performance even after Lollipop update, in spite of only 4 GB storage. Though some users are reporting issues, these are still good recommendations for people looking for phones under 5,000 INR.
- It is difficult to get updates right in one go and we often see consumers crying foul
- Android one devices still perform good after update, unlike several other budget devices
What to Expect from Next Android One devices?
Recently Android One program reached Turkey, and Google introduced a different Android one in association with General Mobiles. This one has Snapdragon 410 running smartphone with 2 GB RAM, 5 Inch HD Display, 13 MP rear/ 5 MP front camera and with Gorilla Glass 4. We are guessing, this could be heading to India soon.
Recommended: Google Announces 9 More Android One Partners in India, Next Generation to Feature Qualcomm Chipset
In the interview to economic times, Ceaser Sengupta substantiated this with the following statement, “There’s an interesting study which reveals that a lot of the people buying their second phones in India are buying more expensive phones, so the market for $100 to $200 phones is increasing faster than the market for $70-120 phones. Therefore, for Android One, you will see them at all prices and at different ranges with our partners.”
This time, Google will make Android One smartphones available in offline markets as well, right from the launch, which might result in higher price
- Android One devices are coming to higher price range
- The one Google and General Mobiles launched in Turkey might be heading to India
- New Android One Phones will sell in brick and mortar stores