Google’s new Android One smartphone from Lava launches on July 14 for Rs 12,000

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Google to launch their latest Android One smartphone, made by Indian handset vendor Lava International, will be launched in Delhi on July 14 and will cost about Rs 12,000, roughly twice what the first phones were priced at. The launch is likely to be attended by top Google executives involved with the project. Android One was devised as a set of specifications that allowed companies to build cheap devices that ran smoothly on the operating system and got direct updates from Google.

Another change relates to vendor engagement, said the person cited above. The latest device has been developed in collaboration on hardware and software with Lava and chipmaker MediaTek. Indian handset vendors weren’t involved in design and development the first time around.

The first-phase partners took devices from original device makers (ODMs) in China and had no say over hardware and software. The latest device is controlled by Lava, which would be in a position to provide an enhanced experience,” the person said. Not having done so earlier may have been among the reasons for the muted performance.

“We’ve learnt a lot from the initial round with our partners and they have learnt in terms of device availability, in channel and others,” Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management, had told ETin June. “Initially, when we had launched, people couldn’t buy them in all channels… In our future (launches) with our partners, we want to make sure that we’re truly available everywhere.”

As a result, the new phone from Lava will be available online and in shops. Google is expected to spend around $10 million-15 million on marketing and promotion during the second phase of the Android One project in India this year, said the person cited above

“Google has made some significant changes to the operating system and has deeply collaborated with Lava to modify the platform as per the product specifications for latter’s smartphones,” the person said, adding that the product will have enough capacity to stay relevant for a longer period of time in the market.

The device, which uses a MediaTek chipset and has 2GB RAM, will feature a larger 5-inch display. Lava will try to position the device as an affordable Nexus smartphone with frequent software and security updates, the person said.

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