Xiaomi is reportedly collaborating with Google on the next Android One smartphone. This piece of news largely makes sense as Xiaomi has proved itself as a strong player in the budget to mid-range categories offering great looking smartphones with decent specifications. Google, on the other hand, is yet to hit that sweet spot with its stock Android offerings. A partnership with Xiaomi will help Google access markets like India, which is where the Android One project began in the first place.
A recent report by Indonesian outlet Krispitech suggests that Xiaomi is planning on launching a Mi 5X-inspired smartphone with Google’s Android One experience. The report also hints that the new product will be called Xiaomi A1. Notably, the Mi 5X, which features a 5.5-inch full-HD display, an octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, and 4GB of RAM is expected to come to India next month as the company has teased a launch of its first dual rear camera in the country.
The Android One initiative by Google created a lineup of low-cost smartphones that offer stock Android experience with timely updates. Google has typically partnered with entry-level OEMs like Micromax and Karbonn in the past, launching affordable smartphones with a stock Android UI. Interestingly, the Android One was a project that was first launched in India back in 2014, around the same time Xiaomi launched its Mi 3. But the Android One devices haven’t managed to rake in the numbers as much as Google would have liked.
On the other hand, Xiaomi has become a major player in India, having seen tremendous success with its budget offerings like the Redmi Note 4, which recently registered 5 million units sold in the country. The Chinese manufacturer holds a strong 17 percent market share in the country, as per IDC.
By the sound of it, a team up between Google and Android could lead to something interesting. An Android One smartphone with stock Android and Xiaomi’s design aesthetics and focus on hardware could hit that sweet spot that Google needs to win the budget segment. It is still unclear as to when Google plans to launch the smartphone, but you can expect it to come to India when it does.