Google has flagged off its Android One initiative in India today, with three smartphones from different OEMs to provide timely automatic updates to low-end devices priced around $100. Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Android One Dream Uno and Karbonn Sparkle V has been exclusively launched on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, respectively.
The Android One smartphones’ price starts at Rs 6,299 and goes up to Rs 6,499 (around $100) and are based on Android One reference hardware. They come with vanilla stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat and have been promised 2 years of software updates. These will also be one of the first few smartphones to receive Android L update as they will directly come from Google. The hardware of these three smartphones are similar but they differ in designs and colour variants.
Android One smartphones has support for Indian languages. They will also get 200 MB of 3G data per month for six months from Airtel for app downloads and 100 MB per month for six months for Android software updates. Google is also partnering with other OEMs such as Acer, Alcatel, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo for Android One smartphones. The three smartphones launched today are powered by MediaTek MT6586 quad-core SoC. So, Google has also partnered with Qualcomm so that OEMs can have some choice in terms of SoCs in future Android One powered smartphones. We are quite sure that snapdragon’s newly launched 200 series low-end processors would find its way into Android One smartphones in 2015.
Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Apps said,
If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 1.75 Billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population-over five billion more-do not. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. With Android One, we not only want to help get people online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.
The Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Dream Uno and Karbonn Sparkle V went on sale today at 3:30 pm on Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal, respectively. These smartphones will also be available for purchase from retail stores across India from early October. Google has also planned to expand Android One to more countries such as Philippines, Indonesia and other countries in South Asia by end of the year.