Google announced the launch of the Android One platform in India today, with the first set of low-cost devices now available for purchase in the country. While India is the first country where users get to experience Android One, Google has announced that the program will be making its way to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries set to follow in 2015.
Along with an international expansion, Google is adding more manufacturers to the fray, which sees the likes of Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo launching Android One smartphones in the near future. Google has also partnered with Qualcomm, highlighting the possibility of a Snapdragon-enabled Android One handset, which may even be the LTE-enabled Snapdragon 210, seeing as how Qualcomm is targeting the $100 segment with its latest SoC.
Writes Google's Sundar Pichai:
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We're also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.
With Android One, Google is aiming to make it easier for hardware vendors to launch a device in the budget category by providing reference designs that vendors can leverage from, saving time and sourcing costs in the process. While vendors can choose from the list of hardware designs, Google will control the software side of things, and has mentioned that it will roll out updates directly. Android One devices will receive the Android L update as soon as it is available, with Google stating that these devices will be some of the first to receive the update to the next version of Android.
What are your thoughts on Android One expanding to other countries?