Google has admitted it got the initial “timing and messaging” around Android One wrong in India, and relaunched the mobile platform in a tie-up with Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. The devices will now target the mid-tier, rather than the lower-end, segment. Google has also become more flexible with handset makers — it will no longer dictate hardware specifications and focus more on the software experience — after the Android One project failed to take off the way the company expected. The project was aimed at offering low-cost products based on Android operating system. It was launched in September 2014 by Sundar Pichai, Google’s current chief executive who was then heading Android at the company. Under initial tie-ups, phones were made by Indian companies like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn and were priced below Rs 6,500. “I think that it was sort of wrong setting (messaging) in the wrong time (compared with) where we are today,” Google’s global director of Android Partner Programmes Jon Gold said Tuesday, when asked about the apparent failure of the platform. “We have learnt a lot in doing it. We see that there are reasons that it may not work as well in the entry level and so opening it up to a broader spectrum, I think, plays to the strength of what the programme has to offer,” Gold said. According to market watchers, the first attempt by Google was probably not successful because there were devices with better specifications in the Rs 6,000-10,000 range. At one point, it even looked like Google had pulled the plug on Android One, which the company declined. “In the original programme, we dictated a lot. Here we will be more flexible, so people who really build the hardware can excel at doing that they do,” Gold said at the launch of MiA1, the first in a series of devices on the renewed platform. Google and Xiaomi will jointly market the device. MiA1 will go on sale for Rs 14,999 from September 12 both online and offline. “MiA1 is a strategic device in our global expansion. Since the time Google came to us, we have worked together to bring out this device… Both of us are committed to future software and security updates,” said Donovan Sung, Xiaomi Global’s director of product management. Gold said he would not consider the Xiaomi partnership a “reboot” and that the company was “quietly” working in the direction for a couple of years. Google is open to more partnerships with Indian and global handset brands for Android One, most of which will probably be in the mid-range, he added. Xiaomi’s Sung said the company won’t dilute MiUI OS.