Google introduced its Android One devices in 2014, a range of smartphones targeted at emerging markets to deliver a stock Android experience in a cost-effective package. These have been built by a number of manufacturers including Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice, and now, it looks like Xiaomi might be having a go too.
Indonesian tech site Krispitech (via phoneArena), recently discovered documentation suggesting that Xiaomi may be readying an Android One smartphone based on its Mi 5X handset (pictured above). The information was found on POSTEL, the Indonesian equivalent of the FCC, and referenced an Android One device that Krispitech is calling the “Xiaomi A1.”
Like the other Android One phones, this should offer timely updates (something Xiaomi has rarely if ever delivered, as far as major Android versions are concerned) and be powered by stock Android — i.e. excluding Xiaomi’s MIUI skin on top.
This could be a great move for consumers, as Xiaomi’s MIUI interface is a big turnoff for some people (though, admittedly, it must be a plus for some of its 200 million users). With a stock Android device, customers could look forward to Xiaomi’s excellent, low-cost hardware but without the software bloat and lengthy update waiting times; the company announced which of its phones would receive Android Nougat only in July this year, around ten months after Google released it.
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Xiaomi generally sells its smartphone hardware for little to no profit in order to make money from accessories and its other IPs. Though this is just a rumor for now, with the potential handset being more closely linked to Google, it would be interesting to see how Xiaomi sets the price and uses it as a vehicle for other sales.
What are your thoughts on the potential of a stock Android-based Xiaomi Mi 5X? Let us know in the comments.