Getting stock Android has for a long time been left to the Nexus line of devices. These devices are not particularly cheap especially for those in developing countries. This is what pushed Google to announce the Android One project at its I/O event on Wednesday. Devices under this project will be of high quality and affordable for people in emerging markets.
Android’s head, Sundar Pichai said,” the goal of the programme is to reach the next five billion users who don’t currently have a Smartphones.”
This is a bold move for Android that currently boasts over 1 billion active users each month.
Google plans to help manufacturers in this sector by providing a set of hardware reference platforms that will guide them through the manufacturing process. Mr. Pichai said, “We identify the components which go into a next-generation Smartphones. These are high quality, affordable Smartphones. We qualify vendors so we provide a turn-key solution for OEMs to build a Smartphone.”
Google will also support the software component of these devices with the following benefits.
- Devices run stock Android, similar to Nexus devices;
- OEMs and network operators can auto-install applications from Google Play, but users retain full control;
- Automatic updates straight from Google.
An example of such a device is the Micromax that has dual SIM capabilities with a 4.5 inch screen, a microSD card slot among other features and costs less than $100.
The first Android One device will be available as from September this year.