Google and Xiaomi got together in India last night to announce a new Android One phone, the Xiaomi Mi A1. Some had wondered if Google’s turnkey phone program was dead, but with the Mi A1, Android One is apparently “evolving,” with a launch planned in over 40 markets.
It’s hard to know what Android One stands for anymore. Originally the program saw Google lay out a “recommended spec” for local manufacturers, aiming for high-quality, low-cost devices with stock Android and fast updates directly from Google. The program wasn’t popular with OEMs, which led to it being watered down significantly. Google relinquished control over the hardware and passed software update responsibility over to the OEMs. As far as we can tell, it means “stock Android” and not much else.