And running it is. Announced at the Google I/O conference in June as a project to get quality, affordable Android phones into the hands of those who live in countries where most cannot afford flagships. The launch, in New Delhi, India, was in the very early hours of US time.
Android One, besides being for the budget-minded, is intended to bring a consistent user experience to the platform, while growing the customer base with Google services. Ideally, everyone benefits. The consumer gets a reliable, fairly high-end phone, while Google continues its growing domination. That Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and apps, and Google are making so much noise about Android One says a lot about how important the emerging markets are perceived to be.
This is not lost on the manufacturers either, as a number of device makers, both big and small have come aboard since June. Acer, Airtel, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xolo have been added to the originally announced partners (Kerbonn, Mediatek, Intex, Celkon, Micromax &Spice).
Google will be almost totally in charge of the design of these phones, which will run ‘stock Android’ without the usual bloatware and interface additions that manufacturers usually put on these mobile devices. The three handsets that were introduced today are the Spice AndroidOne Dream UNO Mi-498, the Micromax Canvas A1 and the Karbonn Sparkle V. Each of the phones boast similar specs: 4.5-inch FWVGA displays with 854×480-pixel resolution, quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor, dual-SIM capability, 1GB RAM and 4GB of onboard storage along with a rear 5-megapixel camera and microSD card slot for expandability.
“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,” said Sundar Pichai in a blog post.
After rolling out in India, Android One will be continuing on to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia by the end of the year.