Google plans to bring its Android One program to the US in 2017. This information is based on a new report out of The Information which in turn, credits different “people briefed on the plan”. At the moment, the details on this are quite light, however, the report does look to confirm that the first of the US Android One smartphones to become available will hit the market in the middle of 2017 (at the latest) and will likely be priced between $200 and $300 at launch.
At present, there are no firm details on who the likely partner will be for the debut smartphone, although LG is being suggested as a likely candidate. Likewise, it is understood that following the launch of the first Android One smartphone, other partners will release more devices under the Android One umbrella. The benefit of doing so is that those devices will be guaranteed a more stock Android-like experience with timely and regular updates, as well as a guarantee of updates for the next two years. Something which will likely appeal to consumers in the US who are looking for an affordable and regularly updated smartphone.
Interestingly, the report does note that the launch of the first US Android One smartphone will come with a Google-funded ad campaign. Which would suggest that this will be launched as a fairly big deal when it does arrive. Google has already spent the last few months heavily promoting its other newer hardware devices and it seems this will be a trend that Google looks to continue with the launch of Android One in the US. However, it is also worth noting that by ‘Android One standards’, the suggested $200 to $300 price will be considered to be expensive. So it remains to be seen how varying the price spectrum is with the US side of Android One. For instance, whether the suggested price represents an Android One ‘flagship’ device and the follow-on devices will come through at a much more affordable price, or whether the $200 to $300 price becomes the norm for Android One smartphones in the US. What is clear though, is that if Android One does launch in the US anytime soon, it will provide consumers who find the likes of the Pixel and the Pixel XL too expensive, a much more affordable alternative that comes with a similar ethos to the Pixel and Nexus lines.