At Google I/O, one of the larger announcements was for a sub-$100 non-Nexus Android hardware platform for developing markets called Android One. The idea being that Google would define basic hardware specs, which manufacturers would use to produce phones. Google’s plan is to supply a vanilla Android build that will allow for fast OS updates, that carriers could ‘localise’ with apps from Google Play. When these phones would launch wasn’t announced at Google I/O, beyond ‘later this year’, but it’s now being speculated that they will arrive in October.
The Indian based Economic Times has reported the launch date for the phones, which will see handsets come from Micromax, Karbonn, Spice, Intex and Celkon launched in India with an AU $18 million advertising campaign in October. The launch is apparently being timed to coincide with a visit to the sub-continent by head of the Android and Chrome teams, Sundar Pichai.
Specs wise, Google announced some key points of the Android One reference platform at Google I/O. Android One phones have been confirmed to include a 4.5″ Screen, SD Card (presumably microSD Card) storage, Dual-SIM and with an FM Radio. Speculation at this stage, points to the phone being powered by a MediaTek processor, but nothing is announced yet, so it’s pure speculation.
The Android One platform is Google’s play to reach the ‘next 5 billion’ customers. Android One will allow Google to show off Android to a large number of people who are experiencing mobile computing for the first time. Using a stock interface will also allow them to not only control the look and feel of Android, but allow them to retain the ability to push security and feature updates with ease.
We’ve taken steps to acquire an Android One when it’s released, so we look forward to giving it a shot when it comes out.
Do you expect the Android One to come to Australia or will it remain in emerging markets?