Google’s Android One initiative was announced last year. Its aimed at bringing Android smartphones to the very low end of the smartphone market in emerging countries, with the promise of swift software updates straight from Google instead of OEMs and carriers. As per a new report Google’s next move to expand Android One will make data use free for some apps on Android One devices.
Android One is geared towards markets where mobile data coverage tends to be unreliable as well as relatively expensive, a combination that might deter customers from purchasing smartphones, no wonder feature phones still hold ground in those markets.
According to The Information Google will help ease this transformation to smartphones for customers in those markets by “zero rating” data usage for some applications. This means for certain apps users will not be billed for data usage or it won’t consume allocated data from the plans they have subscribed to.
Zero rating isn’t a new concept at all. It is a practice that mobile carriers in emerging markets regularly engage in to boost their subscriber base so Google’s move just might work if it zero rates some of the most popular apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook, for Android One users in those markets.
Google is reportedly working on this move with companies like Snapdeal and Flipkart in India, as well as with other developers, who will approach Google to get their apps zero rated while Google will work with mobile carriers to get zero rating for all the developers that it represents.