As part of Google’s vision to capture the ‘Next 5 Billion’, Google today announced a new handset initiative, designed to help OEMs build devices, called – Android One. Android One will be a hardware reference model which OEMs can use to build devices which are high quality yet affordable.
Android One devices will be running stock Android, with OEMs and carriers adding locally relevant apps and content through Google Play – note: No skins here. Android One devices will receive Google Play Auto-installs to keep them up-to-date, as well as receiving Automatic Updates, a neat way to resolve fragmentation for the next 5-Billion at least.
Google has begun the Android One initiative in India already. Google has partnered with Karbonn, Cromax and Spice in India to release an Android One phone, which is apparently manufactured by Micromax. The phone will be dual-SIM, and have a 4.5” Screen, microSD Card slot, FM Radio and will cost less than $100.
The Android One phones will be available in other markets, but at this stage they appear to be concentrating on India and ’emerging markets’. It’s all an effort to capture the next 5 Billion users and Google will work with carriers to provide affordable packages.