Android One Phones to Come to U.S. Mid-2017
Google is rumored to finally be bringing the Android One line of smartphones to the US. An exclusive report from The Information states that the first phone bearing the brand could launch as early as mid 2017. It is believed that the phone will be priced somewhere between $200 and $300.
The report doesn’t disclose which OEM the phone will be manufactured by, but does state that LG is potentially on board with this initiative. Android phones account for more than half the smartphone sales in the U.S., partly in thanks to strong marketing by companies like Samsung and LG. Google reportedly wants Android to be recognized as a brand on its own and hopes that Android One and the newly-released Pixel devices will help raise that awareness in the United States.
Manufacturers that partner with Google to release a phone under the Android One brand will be given “major Promotional dollars if they play by the rules,” The Information stated. The rules include the phones launching with Google Apps pre-loaded, as expected. Google still makes the majority of its mobile income from advertising via Google Search, but the company is hoping that the Pixel and Android One will also allow Google to gain an early foothold into the AI and VR segments through hardware Google has more control over.
The Android One brand was initially launched in 2014 in India in which low cost phones were supported directly by Google to ensure timely updates. This move was made to combat the criticism that Android doesn’t offer timely updates across its ecosystem when compared to the likes of Apple. Google has since expanded the Android One brand to Europe and Japan as well as African countries like Ghana and Kenya, so perhaps the United States market is indeed next in line.
Source: The Information