Google launched the much awaited Android One in New Delhi today. The three new smartphones feature the Android One branding on their backs launched at the event were Micromax Canvas A1, Karbonn Sparkle V and the Spice Dream Uno.
The handsets provide a minimum set of features determined by Google, which has sourced several of the components to help cut manufacturing costs. These features include:
- a 4.5in (11.4cm) display
- 1GB of RAM (random-access memory)
- a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front one
- a quadcore processor sourced from Taiwanese company Mediatek
- the ability to run the next version of Android, due for release soon
To suit the local market, Google has also asked the manufactures to include a micro-SD (Secure Digital) slot, a replaceable battery, a built-in FM radio and the ability to support two Sim cards simultaneously.
In its bid to promote smartphone penetration, Google has also teamed up with Airtel to make it cheaper to download Android updates and new apps.
That’s not all, Google said it had also customised some of its own apps for India, including:
- the addition of railway bookings and cricket scores to Google Now’s card-based results
- an “offline” version of YouTube, so videos can be re-watched without incurring extra data charges after the initial download
- the introduction of 13 local publications to Play Newsstand
“We provide our OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] a menu, effectively.
“They can choose the CPU [central processing unit], the GPU [graphics processing unit], the storage, the type of battery, the type of camera.
“It really saves them a lot of effort in terms of identifying the right hardware [and] doing all the testing you need to do to get the software to run on this hardware.
He added the scheme should soon expand to Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.