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Android One is a series of smartphones by Google that runs the Android operating system without being subjected to any modifications. Although it was originally intended to tap the market for entry-level phones in emerging countries in Africa, South America, and Asia, Google has shifted gears and seems to have scrapped its original roadmap. They have shifted their focus to targeting mid-tier phones and are aimed to bring you everything you want but nothing you don’t.
Android One’s strategy is focused on bringing a cleaner Android experience in a much more consistent way than it has managed to do so far. To understand the transition better, we will be taking a much closer look at what Android One used to be and what it is now.
What Android One used to be
The emerging markets of developing countries was a great opportunity for Google. Introducing the concept of the internet to a section of society who are completely unfamiliar with the concept and the subsequent utilization of their services which are by now an integral part of the internet experience was a great way to boost their revenue.
Google intended to utilize low-end hardware couple with high-end software to bring to users a consistent Android experience. Google worked in conjunction with manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, Mito, and several others to manufacture phones under a certain budget but meeting the minimum standard of quality and performance set by them.
Anyone who bought a phone which fell under this umbrella was able to get a much smoother Android experience than any other competing phones within the price range. The phones were focused on providing speed and fluidity even with lower specs.
But this never really took off because of weak marketing and the phones failing to stand out in a market which had phones with bigger specs.
What Android One is now.
Google has stripped the programme to its basic principle of providing a clean, consistent experience but has shifted its focus to flagship phones. Because they are no longer limited by lower specs, users can fully take advantage of the Android experience.
Partnering with bigger companies like Xiaomi, Motorola, and HTC, the phones released by Android One will be equipped with better specifications but will not have a plethora of modifications from carrier software and manufacturers like it used to. Using these phones will be consistent with what you get when using Nexus or Pixel phones. Google has also assured that there will be software updates for two years as well.
What happened to what Android One used to be
Android One may have shifted its focus away from low-end phones, but this does not mean Google has abandoned the fledgling market presence in emerging countries. Android Go is not really a new name for an old programme, but it is actually a configuration of the Android operating system. Beginning with Android 8.0 Oreo, the operating system is tweaked in order to optimize the software for low-end phones.
Unlike Android One, where makers had to modify the hardware to meet the standards set by Google, Android Go puts no constraints on the manufacturer when it comes to hardware its aim is for the user to have a seamless experience.
Android One can provide a clean, efficient experience of Google in a secure way with the promise of continued assistance and support to boot. And the ability to access the best of what Google has to offer without breaking the bank.