Android fans in the US were left surprised with the rumor that leaked the launch of the budget phone, Android One, that has already been deemed successful in the Asian market. Google wishes to expand its Android One phone program in the US by mid 2017 and would promote this launch by funding a big ad campaign for this first US-based phone.
Android One is a low cost line of consumer electronics devices that run the Android operating system. It is a hardware and software standard created by Google for Android systems, and customers in the developing world. Google manages the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices while all manufacturing are carried out by partnering original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Google renounced the Nexus brand for a purely new segment of high-end smartphones, the Pixel series, which became an instantaneous sensation in the market even though there weren’t as reasonable as the Nexus.
The Android One phones wouldn’t be as rich as the Nexus or the Pixel in terms of quality and specifications, but would satisfy the need of those looking for an extremely low budgeted Android phone that is expected to be priced around $150-$300.
Google launched the Android One phones in countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia and other Asian countries, by partnering with mobile brands such as Micromax, Spice and Karbonn and all of them shared the same hardware specs, including a 4.5-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage and ran Android 4.4 KitKat, managing to sell about 800.000 units in the first year of its sale.
Android One phones in the US may come from Micromax or QMobile, running a bloatware-free version of Android that’ll receive fast updates. Also LG, a company who made various Nexus smartphones in previous years, may also be in the cards for production. Chinese companies like OnePlus, Huawei, Xiaomi, LeEco and ZTE have also been offering unlocked mid-range Android phones at a low price price point for some time in this country already, which could cause a lot of competition and struggle for the new Android One.
There might be many speculations as to why Google would want to make this big move in such an overly established country but it is noteworthy that the company wants people to be more aware that Android is being used by the vast majority of smartphones on the market, and launching an Android One phone in the US would allow it to push that brand to a new segment of smartphone buyers that cannot afford the more expensive, and higher-end, Pixel devices from the company.