Strategic Nokia & Android One Partnership for Better Android Experience [Part 1]
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Strategic Nokia & Android One Partnership for Better Android Experience [Part 1]

Last updated on March 3rd, 2018 at 03:06 pm

This is a PART 1 of two-part series of an editorial discussing the recent release of Nokia Mobile Phones under Android One Partnership. Part 1 of this editorial looks back on the history about Android One. I mentioned how the Android One goes well into the Philippine Market. And on the latter part, I am sharing my insight with Nokia Android One strategic partnership.

 

The new Nokia smartphone is now under Android One program

With the announcement of the partnership of Nokia and Google with Android One program, this strategic partnership brings much confusion with some of us here. To give us a clear picture of what’s going on with Nokia and Google partnership with Android One. As much as I can, I want to give some insight on this interesting partnership.

We all know that Nokia HMD Global, the licensee to create a Nokia-branded phone is quite impressing us for almost a year now in giving consistent updates with their existing portfolio right now. In fact, this also helps them to almost enter to the top 10’s listers of the global smartphone brand. The mantra of bringing the “Pure, Secure and Up to Date” Android experience on their smartphone lineup was praised by some users and Android enthusiast.

Mobile World Congress is reaching its peak now, at the end of the month of February, and Nokia went big on Sunday night -the day that the company announced they are strengthening their partnership with Google. On a keynote of Mobile World Congress, Juho Sarvikas, HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer want us to “think it as a marriage” between the company and with Google. The possible ‘marriage’ between two companies indicates that HMD Global is serious about their business to create Nokia-branded Android smartphones.

This might be interesting things we have known so far, but the brand’s partnership with Google’s program, Android One draw some questions. A Twitter user asked on eveleaks’ leakage tweet of Nokia 7 Plus few days before the MWC2018 that most of us asked the same question.

“Do (HMD Global) they really need Android one Program device? They are faster than Android one when it comes to updates” – @gauravh1.

‘Android One’ Program in a nutshell

Launched in 2014, ‘Android One‘ is a program by Google for the phone makers to bring smooth, pure experience, clean, no-skinned, no bloatware and up-to-date Android operating system to the entry-level devices. Google envisions to defragment the entry-level Android phone by laying out a set of approved hardware guidelines to follow by Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) who signed up for the program. Manufacturers must abide with this standard if they intended to have an Android One device.

In the same way, manufacturers also helping Google to bring their software products to budget-friendly phones to function it like a Nexus/Pixel phone and bring the most out of Google products. Android One smartphones will get monthly security updates or also known as “Android Security Patch” (You can found it on About > Android Security Patch Level next to Android Version in Settings App)

This program was has a goal to bring this Android experience in the entry-level Android smartphones in developing countries to the “next billion users”. Tech enthusiast finds this as ‘ambitious’ idea for Google to bring clean, fluid and pure Android users on the low-end specs phone. Before we dive into the possible benifits of this partnership, lets look back how the Android One program went well in their target market, specifically the Phillippines.

Android One in the Philippines

Cherry Mobile MyPhone Uno
The first Android phones with stock Android OS, the Cherry Mobile One and MyPhone Uno.

The social media capital country, the Philippines is one of the initial markets of the Android One 3 years ago.  At that time Google partnered with several local brands: Cherry Mobile with their Cherry Mobile One in 2015, and it has succeeded on the following year with the Cherry Mobile G1; and MyPhone with their MyPhone Uno.

Both devices run pure Android KitKat, with guaranteed two-year support to received minor and major updates up to Android Marshmallow as fast as Nexus brand phones.

For some reasons, it was said that Android One did not make it as designed. Some consumers might prefers other phones than Android One devices. In the Philippines, with Cherry Mobile, for example, didn’t see a successor of Cherry Mobile G1, but instead, the brand proceeded with near-to-stock Android experience on their next Flare series phone (with no Google-direct updates), and in 2017, they decided to  installed instead their own skin with their latest phones.

Tech enthusiasts and our friends from Unbox.ph sited possible reasons why it was not succeeded. Brands stopped to create Android One-branded phone, and as reported Android One phones had a poor sales in the Philippines.

To add, since Android One doesn’t have a bloatware (Bloatware apps are apps from third-party app makers that are included as pre-installed on each Android phone either an additional app/s to add some functionalities to the phone), cleaners, charging boosters (some of them have ads on lock screen or in the app itself for some phones) or any unnecessary apps bundled in Android One phones, brands make fewer profits (from the ads appear on the bloatware apps) with Stock Android or Android One. This bloatware may hog a big chunk of phone’s resources like storage and RAM that can compromise the performance and user experience with the phone.

Refreshed Android One

An Android Security Patch update is now ready to download on Xiaomi Mi A1, also an Android One Device.

Android One is now reviving, kicking and alive. This program doesn’t die at all. In fact, Nokia Android One phones are now featured on Android.com website and Android One page as well. Other brands like Motorola, HTC, Sharp and Xiaomi created their own Android One phones.

Android One made’s its fuzz just recently after Xiaomi deleted a poll on Twitter, asking their followers what they mostly like most, an Android One or their Mi UI. This is perhaps related to Xiaomi’s MI A1, the most popular among the refreshed Android One-branded phone. In the same way,

https://twitter.com/szymonkopec/status/963247351983783936

 

One Plus did also a similar poll. And the results are quite surprising, It turns out their customers most prefer Android One phone (on Xiaomi’s poll) or Stock Android (on OnePlus Poll) over the brands owned skinned OS. The response of the market for having an Android One or Stock Android OS phone is quite positive. It turns out that Lenovo also joins the Stock Android bandwagon.

It turns out many Android users are now clamoring for a stock Android phones..and Nokia responded how fans requested! On my part 2 of my editorial, I will discuss how Nokia embraces Android even more from their break up with Microsoft and how does it benifit to the Nokia brand, Google and ofcourse, users. See you on my next techditorial.

Opinions expressed by the writer does not necessarily reflective of those in TechPatrl. 

 

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