Google announced Android One program at the recent Google I/O 2014. The company plans to launch devices powered by Android One in India first, with companies like Micromax, Spice and Karbonn. Android One is launched to reduce production cost of phones. Manufacturers like Karbonn, Micromax, Spice will be able to launch $100 phones based on this platform. Google will handle the software part using Android One. So phones will get firmware updates directly from Google. This is surprising because low budget phones usually don’t receive any software updates.
Sundar Pichai, Android head at Google, showcased a Micromax device at the show. The Micromax Android One phone has a 11.43-cm (4.5-inch) display, FM radio, SD card slot, dual SIM slot. Google has reportedly partnered with MediaTek for chipsets to power the Android One devices. We speculate that the MediTek MT6575 dual core processor is packed in Micromax Android One phone.
It is worth mentioning here that 78 per cent of the smartphones launched in Q1 of 2014 were priced around $200 in India. Google’s Android One will definitely change this picture. Nokia Lumia 520 became popular in $200 segment, because of cheap hardware and software quality of $200 android devices. Google wants to change this scenario in India.
Google is also providing hardware guideline designs for manufacturers. The Android makers has also tied up with hardware component companies to provide volume of parts to manufacture low budget Android smartphones.