In emerging markets like our’s India, smartphone penetration is merely 10% of the total mobile users. Local vendors are pushing hard to build affordable Android devices, but they usually neglect this devices once sold, providing this devices with zero updates and thus offering inconsistent user experience. This mainly due to the cost involved in the development. To help the OEMs, Google has launched a new initiative called – Android One, where Google will help the companies to build affordable smartphones with standardized hardware and stock Android (AOSP).
Under Android One, Google will offer the OEMs reference designs for building super affordable smartphones running the stock AOSP. The company will identify the components that go into a smartphone and to pre-qualify suppliers for those parts to ensure they work together. Thus making the whole hardware part fully standardized and OEMs can concentrate on building the smartphone and marketing it.
Another important aspect of the initiative is that this devices run on stock Android with hardly any customization from OEMs. Google will be the ones releasing the automatic updates for the devices just like the Nexus program. So now, never worry about getting left behind during a major Android OS release, if you are holding a device under Android One project. Google directly will be pushing the OTA updates for the devices instead of the device manufacturers. In addition Google will give this OEMs access to its Play Store to help them add locally relevant apps to their devices.
- Reference design from Google
- Standardized Hardware parts
- pre-qualified hardware suppliers
- Stock Android experience
- updates directly from Google (like Nexus program)
- Google Play Auto installs
First of the device’s launching under the Android One program is the smartphone from Micromax that features 4.5inch touch display, dual-SIM capability, expandable storage with SD card slot and an FM radiao, all with a price tag under Rs 6000 or $100.In addition to Micromax, Indian mobile vendors Spice and Karbonn will also launch devices under the Android One program.
Google is also trying to work out with telecom operators to bring down the 4G, 3G and 2G data usage rates under the Android One initiative, thus helping more people to get online.