Is this how Google wants to ruin the Android One program?

Right from inception, Google’s Android One program was focused on producing low cost, high quality smartphones. These phones are made to run stock Android undiluted – exactly how Google made it. Best of all, Google promised regular software updates to users of these devices. The Android One project was an initiative to bring the true Android experience to emerging markets – where many users can’t afford the more expensive Nexus devices.

Android One explained

Since the program was launched (first in India, before spreading to other countries and Africa), it has not been a runaway success. Why? you may ask. In India, it was sold only online. This restricted the sales to a limited set of enlightened people.

Another major complaint among Indian phone makers was the strict Android One hardware requirements Google placed on them. They had only one or two choices for most components, so local manufacturers argued that it is difficult for them to differentiate their devices from those of rivals on both price and features.

In a revamped plan, Google is hoping to relax her rules by giving phone makers more freedom when it comes to components, features and price. In a report by Wall Street journal, Google is working with Lava to release another Android One device as part of this new initiative.


Now, to the more interesting bit, here’s a snippet from Google’s software support page:

Android One phones receive the latest version of Android from Google’s hardware partners. Google’s partners send updates based on their schedule – trying to get them to you as soon as possible. All partners have committed to provide software updates for at least eighteen months after the phone’s initial public launch. This means that all phones will receive at least one major software update and several smaller security updates.

See that highlighted part. It seems Google is letting go of software updates, and leaving us at the mercy of hardware partners. My own concern is that I receive Marshmallow on the Infinix Hot 2. Is Google gradually ruining the Android One program?

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7 comments

  1. yes, they are. recently Google seems to be bending over backwards to please OEMs. they sold Motorola to appease Samsung and now they’re relaxing hardware requirements and giving OEMs control over software for Android One devices. that ground up redesign/restructuring of Android when they embrace the Chrome OS update system can’t come soon enough

  2. It’s not easy for Google,they have to toe the mid line and try and keep everybody happy which means compromises which unfortunately may not be to the benefit of the consumers,having said that I believe it’s sheer wishful thinking to expect the same level of commitment on the Android One phones compared to the Nexus family..

  3. So… By releasing the updates to their partners to send out, what’s the difference now between Android One and what other manufacturers do? It kind of defeats the purpose. You might as well buy an Innjoo somethingbbecause you know you will get an update the same way as the Infinite Hot 2.

  4. What’s hardware got to do with software. Tot according to d above the oems were complaining about strict requirements for hardware. Anyhu, at least the Android one OS remains undiluted so should still be easier n quicker to release her update

    1. the reason for the (relatively) quick updates was Google, they handled patches and updates. that’s changed now, updates will now be handled by hardware partners

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