Google launches Android One in India to offer affordable smartphones

Google launches Android One in India to offer affordable smartphones

Google has launched its Android One initiative in India today which enables original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to sell affordable smartphones in the country with the latest Android version and mid-range specifications. As announced in June, Karbonn, Micromax and Spice are the first three OEMs to start selling their Android One-based smartphones in the Indian market starting today with a price tag of Rs. 6,399.

With the new announcement, Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream UNO will be available as the three Android One smartphones which will be exclusively available through Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart, respectively. Google is additionally in plans to expand the list of its OEM partners later this year with adding other manufacturers and vendors, including Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo as well as chipmaker Qualcomm, for persuading customers towards its Android One initiative.

The Android One-based first three smartphones are running on Android 4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box and are claimed to receive an update to Android L as well, soon after its release later this year.

Watch Android One video promo:

On the specification front, each of the three Android One smartphones has a 4.5-inch display with FWVGA (480x854pixel) resolution, MediaTek chipset with quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali-400MP2 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD card support and a 1700mAh battery. These smartphones have a 5-megapixel camera sensor on the rear along with an LED flash while a 2-megapixel camera sensor is available on the front.

To ease the buyers in India, Google has provided Hindi language integration for Google Now. In addition, these smartphones come pre-installed with Google apps such as Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Translate and Google Newsstand.

On announcing the launch of Android One initiative in India, Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & 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 people get 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.”

Google has partnered with Bharti Airtel to offer a promotional data plan with every Android One smartphone. Under this plan, customers will get free over-the-air (OTA) updates and 200MB per month worth of app downloads from Google Play for first six months from purchase.

Apart from debut in India, Pichai announced at the press event earlier today that Google is set to launch Android One smartphones in Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka by the end of this year. The search giant will partner with network operators and OEMs there to provide a similar set of Android One smartphones with affordable price tags.

Categories: Smartphones