Xiaomi on Tuesday took the wraps off its all-new Mi A1 Android One smartphone which represents a reboot of Google’s Android One project. The Chinese company started working with Google for the Mi A1 Android Onesmartphone almost six months ago, it said during the launch keynote.
Introducing the new Android One device on Tuesday, Google’s Jon Gold, Global Director of Android Partner Programs, stressed that the Xiaomi Mi A1 is an example of the future of Android One, which makes it clear that the project is no longer just about entry-level phones. Android One was introduced back in 2014 as a way to promote the stock Android experience and guarantee timely updates for phones in the budget segment, and India was one of the first countries in which devices were launched. However, it never took off the way Google had hoped, and now this new launch can be seen as a way to reimagine and reboot Android One.
The Xiaomi Mi A1 is being heavily marketed as “created by Xiaomi and powered by Google”. At the launch event, Gold also hinted that Android One will soon span across a broad range of devices and price points. The Mi A1 has already been guaranteed to receive an update to Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of this year, and while it is too early, next year’s Android P launch also falls within the guaranteed update period.
Xiaomi’s Mi A1 not only has a lot riding on it for the Chinese company perspective but also for Google. Bringing on Xiaomi as a partner for Android One is a smart move, considering that the recently launched Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4 are two of the top-selling smartphones in India. Xiaomi also now features in the top five smartphone brands in the country, according to IDC, and has sold 25 million smartphones in India so far. Its new retail strategy has also been helping it grow.