In a tweet on Thursday, Google Project Fi complained about the lack of available mid-range priced phones. Thereafter, the company hinted at its new Fi-compatible device, which will be available at a mid-tier price. However, no more details were shared.
What options does Google have?
“We hear you loud and clear. Keep an eye out for a new Fi-compatible device at a mid-tier price from one of our partners later this year,” read the tweet from Google Project Fi.
Currently, the options for Fi users are very limited. The Pixel and Pixel XL are the only new available Fi-compatible devices. Just last year, the company made available the Nexus 5X and 6P at a discount, but currently, the devices are listed as “out of stock.”
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Previously, there were reports that Google might pick either the Moto X or HTC E37 for the Fi. If the search giant decides to go with Motorola, it will have two options: the Moto E and Moto G. While the Moto E is among the cheapest phones from Motorola, the Moto G is closer to the mid-tier.
“The most prominent name in mid-tier smartphone prowess in the past several years is Motorola – and now that they’re owned by Lenovo, Google has twice the reason to make it happen,” says SlashGear.
There were also reports about Google’s efforts to bring its Android One initiative to the United States. With the help of Android One, the company is looking to standardized Android phones in emerging markets, both in terms of software and hardware. So there are chances that the company will link its Android One initiative with the Project Fi.
Making efforts to boost Google Project Fi
Google Project Fi started as a hybrid mobile virtual network operator in 2015. To make it unique, the search giant combined Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s networks with Wi-Fi calling. The company has made several changes and updates to Project Fi to make it more acceptable. The search engine giant recently came up with an offer, allowing buyers get a free Google Home if they purchase a new Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone through Project Fi.
The company also made it easier to pay for split bills or group plans. The new “Group Repay” option allows members to directly pay through their Fi notification on their Android phone. Fi will also keep track of all the payments. Google’s new plan was based on its own survey, in which it found that over 50% of people on group plans between the ages of 18 and 34, share their plans with their parents, and about half of them contribute towards their share. Further, 42% of the plans are shared with a spouse, and 5% of them share it with their roommates or friends, notes TechCrunch.
And last year, Project Fi added U.S. Cellular to its “network of networks,” keeping the billing system quite competitive and pro-consumer. Under the project, Google will only charge for what the customer uses, and a refund is offered for the unused data at the end of each billing cycle.