What Exactly is Google’s Android One About?

What is Android One?

Android One is an initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. We are working with hardware partners to ship these devices in multiple countries around the world —  India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, Pakistan and now Nigeria. Going forward all devices will come with the latest version of Android (Lollipop) and will continue to get updates as they are released.

Why is Google doing this?

While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

What are the barriers towards high-quality smartphones?

There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as Nigeria to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone.

  • Hardware: Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250).
  • Software: Many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications.
  • Data: Even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

Android One aims to tackle these problems. By partnering with phone and silicon chip makers to share design specs and manufacturing standards, we’ve been able to build phones that are not just good phones, but also affordable.

How does Android One help address these challenges?

    • Great hardware: Android One phones have great processing power, so users can get information quickly. They have high-quality front and back cameras. Apps and videos take up storage space, so these smartphones have ample memory as well as a micro-SD slot to add more. We also added features that we know people in the Nigeria will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
  • The latest software: To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices ship with the latest version of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. Android One phones in the Nigeria will come with the latest and fastest version of Android and will automatically update to new versions. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

What is happening in Nigeria?

We are working with Infinix Mobile and MTN to bring Android One smartphones to Nigeria. Nigeria is the tenth country where Android One phones are officially on sale. Others are India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey and Pakistan.

Why Nigeria?

Nigeria is largest Internet market in Africa and currently 8th largest in the world with over 67 million people online. The number of online users has grown by over 30 million in the last 5 years, and is expected to keep growing in the same fashion.

What’s next for Android One?

We continue to work globally with hardware partners such as  Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo and chipmaker Qualcomm to build more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors and hardware configurations. These will be rolling out to new countries around the world.

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