Google launches Android One in India, a high quality entry level smartphone
Google’s initiative to make “high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible,” has gained material form today in the shape of the Android One smartphone. This series of devices has launched today in India under brands such as Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and with the help of chipmaker MediaTek. These devices are said by the Google Blog to be the first of the “next five billion”.
There are three barriers to smartphone accessibility in developing countries according to Google. These are:
- Smartphone price
- Access to software and apps
- Access to 3G and 4G networks
Android One will help soften these barriers by working closely with phone makers and component makers. Google has smartphone reference designs to provide great bang-for-buck and have features that appeal to customers in India, for example. In India smartphone designs will include dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio which appeal to customers there.
Looking at software users will get “all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up” thanks to Android One devices getting all the latest Android updates directly from Google. That includes Android L later this year. In overview, these are like Nexus devices on a budget.
Google also has some network partnerships lined up to help promote the Android One. For instance one provider, Airtel, won’t charge for the data used for software updates for the first six months and provides 200MB of app downloads per month above and beyond your data allowance.
As mentioned in the intro the Android One smartphone become available from today in India. Prices should be 6399 Indian Rupees (around US$100 equivalent). The Android One program will expand to other countries. You will also see other hardware partners join up. Google has named the following makers; Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm.
Are you excited about the launch of the Android One? Let us know in the comments below!