Micromax Canvas A1 - Android One Smartphone

Android One smartphones to offer more hardware variety

Google is looking to give its Android One programme a boost, by easing off on the restrictions it had placed on manufacturers. Although Android One smartphones have rolled out to an increasing number of countries since the platform was launched in September, 2014, its future was clouded in uncertainty.

Android One is a platform that was created with emerging markets in mind. It set out hardware requirements for manufacturers to follow when developing budget smartphones, and in return, Google promised to keep those handsets updated with the new versions of Android.

Although manufacturers were successfully attracted to Android One platform, the programme faced a number of issues.

Due to the hardware requirements set out by Google, Android One devices tended to have very similar specs. Buyers were not offered much choice, and at the same time, manufacturers were unable to position Android One smartphones to compete against the super-cheap €25/£20/$30 handsets that are available in some emerging markets.

Speaking to the Indian daily newspaper The Economic Times, Mike Hayes – head of business development for Chrome and Android partnerships, at Google – has made it clear that future hardware requirements will no longer be so stringent.

“For the initial devices that we had launched, we had put certain yardsticks in order to stand up the software, which is why you saw commonality between the specifications,” Hayes said.

“There is [now] freedom to choose components is now around for OEMs. The decision to procure the components to build the device is still very much taken by the OEM, as they decide everything in terms of specification, pricing, and when to launch.”

[via The Economic Times]