Google announced at I/O the Android One initiative, looking to make better low-end devices available to the rest of the world. The Micromax smartphone mentioned in the Android One announcement will be the first, coming this year.
Android One will not only offer a new stock Android experience, but Google will be investing around $20 million into India, giving Micromax, Karbonn and Spice all a boost in the region, to get advertising out to the public.
The Micromax smartphone will start on FlipKart, the very popular e-commerce retailer in India. Considering the past successes of the Moto G, Moto E and Nokia X on the website, we expect the Micromax smartphone to achieve similar results.
Alongside taking off most of the bloatware on skinned versions of Android, the One program will also look to make quick Google Play and OS updates, similar to the Nexus or Google Play Edition programs, which Google are running globally.
Google will apparently announce a global version of Android One, named Android Silver, in the next few months. This will come alongside the Nexus program, allowing Google to offer similar upgrades to third party providers, as long as they follow the rules.
This new move by Google is definitely on the aggressive side, to stop manufacturers from developing skins on their smartphones. Adding incentives like quick updates, help with advertising and potentially cheaper devices could really destroy Samsung’s large grip of the market.
That is a long way off though, even if Samsung are hitting their peak with the Galaxy S5, they are still way ahead of other manufacturers on Android, and the only threat currently is Apple.
If Google wants to pressure Samsung on this issue, it might make them surge into Tizen OS or another platform, which would not be good for Android overall.