Google remains committed to its Android One project, despite signs that vendors in India – where it was initially launched – have cooled toward the effort, Economic Times reports.
According to the paper, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, the initial backers for Android One, have no firm plans with regard to a second-generation of devices in the line, with other potential partners less than keen on joining the roster.
Announced around twelve months ago, Android one paired reference hardware with Google’s stock Android, in a move designed to enable the creation of low cost devices. It has also been suggested that internally it was seen as a way of ensuring that manufacturers offered devices that feature Google’s internet services.
But on the flipside, this approach has limited the ability for manufacturers to differentiate Android One hardware due to the common base they are working from. Coupled with this is the fact that Android One devices are not significantly cheaper than vendors’ other Android hardware, meaning that price is not a differentiator either.
In an interview with the paper, Caesar Sengupta, VP of product management for Google, said that “we remain pretty committed” to Android One, which is now available in seven markets.
“Overall, we continue to work with OEMs (original equipment makers) across the board, local and large OEMs for bringing Android One’s value proposition to many more markets. We are also thinking about specific phones for specific markets. We think of ourselves as more of a catalyst to the ecosystem,” he said.