The search giant’s powers that be have already confirmed the “creative” reboot of the emerging market Nexus counterpart project, although a precise timeline is somewhat up in the air.
The recent announcement of the surprisingly well-endowed Lava Pixel V1 in India seemed to suggest the Android One roster was headed for a major overhaul. But as it turns out, the diversification trend won’t favor upper mid-range hardware.
Quite on the contrary, as Rajan Anandan, the Vice President and Managing Director of Google’s South East Asian and Indian division, just told the Financial Times a sub-$50 “sweet spot” in pricing is the next goal.
Translated in local currency, that’s around 3,000 Rupees, but Anandan says an Rs. 2,000 (USD 30) tag is also attainable. With certain sacrifices, obviously, chiefly from the manufacturers of the actual second-wave Android One phones.
As they did when kicking off the program, Google will likely enforce a strict set of minimum specification requirements, which OEMs need to comply with to score swift software updates directly from the source.
Unfortunately, these new prerequisites are shrouded in mystery at the moment, as are the names of companies willing to obey them. You have to assume the expectation bar will be considerably lowered from the $80 – $100 range, but profits may still be an issue for whoever joins in.
A slew of budget-centric Asian markets, including Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines, remain the project’s focal point, but above all, Google wants to take over India. The long-term objective is to bring a billion Indians online in 10 years, which will “make a huge difference to the global internet economy.”
You see, it’s not about making money today off entry-level phones, it’s about getting the world hooked on Mountain View’s rich portfolio of digital services. Online search, maps, e-mail, cloud storage, video streaming, you name it.
More on Android One’s expansion in a few weeks.