First Android One phones
Today, Google released the first smartphones of it’s Android One program. The Android One program works so that Google designs a certain minimum spec sheet for a phone and the manufacturers will just produce them. Because the hardware is specified by Google, they can (and do) promise the phone’s will get the latest Android updates for 2 years after the release of the phone. The phones released today are from Micromax, Spice and Karbonn, and they have 4.5-inch screens, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processors, 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel back and 2-megapixel front cameras, dual SIM-card slots, microSD expandable storage and FM radios. Haven’t seen those in a while!
I think this could be huge for Android. It’s currently the most popular smartphone OS in the world but with these low-cost phones (Which are even supposed to perform pretty well) they can shovel a whole new part of the world into the (Android) smartphone era. I know there are other smartphones in this same price range (Expectedly 6399 rupees which is about $105) but Google is also working with local carriers for some merits for Android One phone owners. The merits include free software updates (Meaning you won’t have to pay for the data when updating software) for the first 6 months and 200MB of free data for Google Play downloads every month. That’s something that could make a difference, although I’m sure there are people in India who are also interested in the pure Android and fast updates. For those who don’t care about that stuff, but just wan’t a cheap smartphone, it’s probably going to be the free data that gets their interest if something.
Other manufacturers that are also part of the program are Acer, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, Lava, Lenovo, MediaTek, Panasonic and Xolo.
We’ll see if the rumored Android Silver program follows same kind of guidelines set by Google but for high-end smartphones. If that even becomes reality, at least it’s not going to take the Nexus line anywhere, thankfully.
Meanwhile, I’m desperately waiting for the Android L update’s release…