We already told you that Google launched its Android One phones in India, yesterday. During the same event Mountain View giant also announced that its Android One program is expanding further to accommodate more hardware partners. Along with few more Indian manufacturers, Intex, Xolo and Lava, new list also has international names like HTC, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Alcatel Onetouch and Panasonic. Even better is the inclusion of major chipmaker Qualcomm.
With a new chipmaker and new upmarket OEMs we can expect to see better configurations in Android One program. We clearly see devices divided into ultra cheap and mid-range segments. There is another reason I feel inclusion of these new OEMs is good. Just like domestic OEMs, even HTC and Lenovo have been making cheap, affordable phones but with no future in terms of software updates. Another barrier was from MediaTek which often refuse to share drivers for its SoCs due to which OEMs couldn’t push updates. To top it, HTC always overpriced its devices. If you read our HTC Desire 310 review, you’ll understand what I mean here. Google is basically laying strategies for quality affordable phones.
Google has rightly chosen India as the launch country for its Android One program. It’s the second largest telecom market which is not yet tapped even to half of its potential. But at the same time one has to keep mind that this is also a budget conscious market. Same goes for few other Asian markets. Anyone coming here with right strategy has a huge chance of success. And to make things better, the country has domestic OEMs with good distribution networks. Goolge aims to take Android One to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of 2014 and more countries in 2015. But keep in mind, the focus will always be on emerging markets. So Euro and US markets seem out of scope, at least for now.