Back in June 2014, Google announced the "Android One" project, which was meant to bring the stock Android experience to low-end smartphones that cost around $100, along with updates straight from Google. The project first launched in India and then expanded to Indonesia, the Philippines, and other South Asian countries, and it was promised for Turkey earlier this year.
Android One launched in Pakistan today as well, with the QMobile A1 smartphone. The device is another 11,500 Pakistani rupees (~$113) budget smartphone, which comes with a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor (likely from Mediatek) and runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.
It has a 4.5" display with an 854 x 480 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage, a microSD slot, an FM radio, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and a 1,700 mAh battery. It also comes with a 5MP rear camera that has auto-focus and LED flash, and there's a 2MP front camera. The device supports dual-SIM, like many of the Android One devices released so far.
Even though it's been only a little more than a year since the Android One announcement, Android One seems to have had a rather slow release. We haven't seen any of the major global smartphone makers adopt it; it's been only local players from a few different countries (mainly Asian countries) so far.
The main reason for why other OEMs don't want to adopt Android One is likely because they don't want to cede control over their smartphones to Google. They don't want their devices to be like PCs, where only Microsoft can develop the operating system and OEMs at best get to install a few extra applications on top (also called bloatware).
The smaller local OEMs seem to be more open to the idea of letting Google handle the software for them. That allows them to cut costs, resulting in a lower price for the handsets, which is usually the main factor in customers buying local brands. The companies also can't afford to invest millions of dollars into developing software customizations that can rival companies such as Samsung or LG. Therefore, it's likely more cost-effective to use Google's stock Android, which already has many fans and is guaranteed to give users a good experience even on budget hardware.
The QMobile A1 is the first Android One smartphone that will be sold in Pakistan, and it can now be purchased at retail stores across the country.