September 15, 2014
Google today launched its Android One initiative in India.
The goal? To provide Smartphones that cost less than $100 to high-demand emerging markets.
“There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality Smartphone,” Google senior vice-president of Android, Chrome and apps Sundar Pichai said.
“First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level Smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.”
To solve the problem, Google is working with phone and silicon chip makers to “share reference designs and select components” which makes it easier for its partners to make phones that are functional and affordable. Pichai described them as having “lots of processing power,” front- and rear-facing cameras and expandable storage.
“We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio,” he said.
Android One devices will also receive all of the new Android features including up-to-date security patches.
Those with an Airtel SIM card will receive software updates for free for half a year and will be able to download up to 200MB in apps per month.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.