Google has introduced the first family of Android One phones in India. The devices mainly target emerging markets. In partnership with phone and silicon chip makers, Google will share reference designs and select components, to allow partners to build affordable phones. The Android One phones feature front- and rear-facing cameras, expandable storage, dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.
Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. Google’s hardware partners will be able to create customized solutions and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.
Customers who have an Airtel SIM card will receive software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, users will also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of apps (about 50 apps overall) from Google Play, without counting toward their mobile data usage.
The first Android One phones, from Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are already available in India from retailers starting at INR 6,399. Google plans to add more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm.
The first family of Android One devices includes the Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Dream Uno and Karbonn Sparkle V, available for prices ranging between INR 6,000 and INR 7,000, The Economic Times reports. Spice will be available on Flipkart, Karbonn will be marketed on Snapdeal India and Micromax’s offering can be purchased exclusively from Amazon India. The smartphones will go on sale online starting today, and will also be available in physical stores from October this year.
Google intends to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by year-end, with more countries to follow in 2015.