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New Android One phone rumored for India launch on July 14
According to a “person with knowledge” of the plan, Google and Lava are gearing up to launch the next Android One handset in India. The new smartphone is expected to launch on July 14, will feature renewed specifications and will have a retail price of Rs. 12,000.
The first wave of Android One handsets were not exactly what we would call a success, with less than 800,000 units in consumer hands in India at the last count. That’s considerably less than MediaTek’s ambitious target of two million handsets by the end of the first year.
There are probably two main factors that have held Android One back. Firstly, a lack of retail store presence prevented customers from being exposed to the products. This time around Google is apparently working more closely with Lava, to make sure that the next Android One phone is available online and in shops. Google is also expected to spend around 10 to 15 million in marketing and promotion.
“The first-phase partners took devices from original device makers (ODMs) in China and had no say over hardware and software. The latest device is controlled by Lava, which would be in a position to provide an enhanced experience,”
Secondly, the hardware wasn’t really competitive with other handsets that have shown up the country since. To address this issue, the next Android One phone is rumoured to arrive with better mid-range hardware. MediaTek will still be providing the SoC but the phone will also come with 2GB of RAM and a larger 5-inch display, although we don’t know at what resolution. Google and Lava are also said to be working on specific software features tailored to the region.
By working more closely with individual partners, perhaps the hope is that the next Android One phones provide a more refined experience, but this looks like it will come at a higher price point. The expected retail price of Rs. 12,000 is almost double what the first generation of handsets cost.
Perhaps more will be revealed at the rumoured launch event on July 14th in Delhi. Google India decline to comment.