Google announced the rather ambitious Android One project on Wednesday that aims to provide a quality Android experience at a sub-$100 (Rs. 6,000) price point.
India's Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice were unveiled as the first hardware partners. Google will provide the reference hardware design to these companies, as well as a stock-Android software layer, with the promise of regular updates, just like the Google Nexus devices.
NDTV Gadgets spoke to Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Android, Chrome and Apps, Google, at the sidelines of Google I/O on Wednesday who confirmed that the first Android One device by Micromax will ship this fall.
Pichai also said that Google was not providing financial subsidies to Micromax in an attempt to hit sub-$100 price; instead it was hoping that the shared resources of the two companies would be able to keep the total cost of manufacturing in check.
While Google did not reveal the exact specifications of the device, and Micromax remained unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts to get in touch, we do know that the first Android One smartphone will be a dual-SIM device with a 4.5-inch screen, expandable storage and FM radio, seemingly ticking all the right boxes for the Indian market.
(Also see: Google Unveils Ambitious Android Expansion)
No further details were forthcoming, but the buzz around I/O was it would be "$200 hardware at half-the-price," so make what you will out of that.
Pichai did say that this "better hardware" and the promise of regular Android software updates will be the key differentiator of Android One smartphones.
The likes of Moto G
) and Moto E
) have already shown what the combination of decent hardware, affordable price and regular software updates can do in making devices popular. The stage is set for Android One smartphones to disrupt things.