Skip to main content

Google's Android One program is coming to Europe

After mixed success in India, Google is planning to bring the Android One program to Europe. The search giant will launch Android One in Turkey, adding more countries in Europe within the next few months.

It is Google’s first expansion outside of South-East Asia, where it tried to sell Android smartphones with no customisations and early upgrades. Consumers did not seem overwhelmed by Google’s interest, with early Android One sales not breaking any records despite popular brand names like Micromax and Karbonn getting involved.

Google has moved into other markets in Asia, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Turkey is the first move outside of Asia, although Google is maintaining its low-cost market adoption, instead of launching in countries with high income-per-capita.

Google is partnering with local supplier General Mobile, developing a 4G LTE device with a 5-inch full HD display and some hefty internals. This is a departure from Google’s Asian tactic of selling budget smartphones, although we expect General Mobile will have a price to match most of the low-price devices in the Turkish market.

The device will run Android Lollipop 5.1, the latest version of Google’s operating system. Customers will be the first in Turkey to receive the updates, alongside Nexus and Google Play Edition customers.

Android One might have started slow, but Google’s ambitions of having low-end devices on the newest software is a strong incentive for consumers in regions where one upgrade in two years is normal.

Most devices in these regions do not see Lollipop updates if they are over a year old, and it is normally where the Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich devices are still popular. Giving customers a way to own a device with the newest operating system is tempting, even if the prices are a little higher than normal.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.