Google Changing Its Android One Strategy For The Emerging Markets

Google’s Android One project was supposed to bring the vanilla experience to the masses along with regular updates, by targeting the entry level market. Android One came to Pakistan and other developing countries in a bid to shore up smartphone adoption rates.


A Solid Idea Held Back by Hardware Restrictions

All didn’t go according to plan as what Google thought was an adequate price range turned out to be too expensive for consumers. The restrictive specifications also prevented the manufacturers from bringing multiple devices under the Android One programme. Turns out, Google has no plans to give up yet.

These devices were supposed to bring quick security and feature updates, decent hardware and data saving features but the programme never really flew off the ground. According to Wall Street Journal, Google will soon relax its rules and give its partners more options when choosing features and price.

The new One devices could cost half as much as last year’s devices thanks to the cheaper components. Of course, this could happen the other way around as well with users getting hands on higher specced devices under the programme. Google won’t limit the manufacturers from using their own choice of chipsets and it’s easing the restrictions on other components as well.

The new Android One devices could cost half as much as last year’s devices thanks to the cheaper components.

Previously, Google was forcing the manufacturers to use specific components from specific suppliers. Decent specs ensured that the One devices could run the latest Android versions. Restricted hardware components meant easier updates but Google is now willing to put more effort in software development by relaxing the rules.

What does this mean for OEMS and phone makers?

Phone makers will now be allowed to choose the suppliers and components of their choice. They will have the choice of using Qualcomm and not just Mediatek. Camera sensors will come with more options as well and phone makers can choose from up to five different sensors.


The new policy will help reduce the difference in manufacturing a normal device and a special Android One device. Currently, there is only one Android One smartphone is Pakistan. This new strategy should help increase the number of phone models available under the One branding.

What do you think, would you prefer the way things are at present or having more choice amongst different One phones is really a deal maker for you? Let us know in the comments below.

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]


    • You mean Infinix Hot 2 2GB version from daraz in 10500Rs :)
      It is Android One (you flash android one firmware in it, officially supported and can be done easily)

      • have you done this himself? and after flashing will the ota update from google work fine because i heard somewhere that a custom recovery cant handle the ota update in a perfect way. so u may have a brick

        • custom recovery can handle OTA.

          However, Installing official android one won’t add any custom recovery or any root thing in this phone. Your phone will look like it came with Android One firmware from company.

          I haven’t tried anything with this phone myself. It haven’t received Android One update yet. It received Infinix security update OTA which installed fine in my friends phone on non-Android One ROM.

          I have ordered Hot 2 for myself and waiting for delivery since 8 days from darazpk :)

  • As far as QMobile is discussed, this does not makes any difference for me. But if somehow Huawei, lenovo or any other manufacturer is going to inn, this would be great.

    • Try Qmobile A1 which is already running Android 6.0 from google :)

      This handset is different from all other Qmobile handsets. I also do not like Qmobile but i liked Qmobile A1. Nothing is missing in this phone.

        • Nothing bad. Sometime I feel that battery capacity is less. But it is fine in 10000Rs price.

          Also Qmobile A1 supports about 14 sensors, I do not know them all. They include sensors needed for virtual reality and 360 degree videos.

          While Infinix hot 2 lacks sensors needed for VR and 360 degree videos.

  • Definitely, it will give us more choice to choose from. But Android one should also be other than Q mobile. Like some Chinese smartphone maker, because they give some amazingly well designed smartphones with latest hardware in cheap cost

  • now i have decided to buy Android One 2nd generation AKA Wileyfox Swift, it is Qualcomm 410 based 2gb ram 16gb ROM has 8 sensors for PKR Rs 13,000.
    Way better than Infinix which is Android One 1st generation with only 2 sensors.

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