For some time now, Google has been planning some low-cost devices for the emerging markets such as Africa and some Asian countries. This seems to have materialized as Google is set to announce their first Android One device on September 15th in India. Google announced their plans for the emerging market by talking about the Android One at this year’s Google I/O early in June. While this was not given so much of a thought by many, it is this project that could propel Android to well over 4 billion users. The entire aim of the project is to provide some form of benchmark for Android devices, with the Android One being the lower threshold expected of an Android device. Additionally, price is also a critical element to be considered. Each device under the project should not cost more than $100, and is expected to be pretty decent. This is aimed at giving users the best Android experience at a minimal price.
Some of the key features pointed out during the I/O included the device having at least a 4.5inch screen (or thereabouts), being dual SIM (a feature quite common in markets such as India and China), possessing an FM radio, and also expandable memory. In order to achieve this, Google has to source for willing manufacturers, and three have already been confirmed. Karbonn Mobile, Spice Mobile and Micromax will be taking part in the project, and the September 15th event will most likely provide an opportunity to showcase the first devices developed under the Android One project.
Google is really taking the entire project quite seriously, as it has major control over the software as well as the hardware specification of the devices. As such, the devices in this line will most likely run stock Android, and an advantage that accompanies this is that they will automatically receive updates whenever available. It seems that Google has realized that the emerging markets is a highly unexploited sector in the smartphone war, and this strategy seems likely to work out if carried out well. Hopefully, September 15th will be showcase the progress thus far.