Google to launch $100 Android One smartphone in India this October


Google’s Android One announcement at Google I/O last month was quickly overshadowed by the grand unveiling of Android L, but you can expect it to get the limelight it deserves over the coming months as it takes emerging markets by storm — starting with India.

That’s where the first Android One device will make its debut this October, priced at just $100, according to a new report.

“The launch is planned for Diwali (October), when Sundar Pichai, the senior V-P at Google who is in charge of Android, Chrome and Apps, is expected to visit India,” The Economic Times reports. The search giant is expected to help Android One hardware partners gain exposure by spending more than Rs 100 Crores (approx. $16 million) on marketing.

The Android One program is all about making affordable Android-powered devices better. It sets standards for low-end devices that ensure handset manufacturers have a reference point when building entry-level hardware, and that customers buying those devices get a better experience.

An Android One device that was teased at Google I/O, manufactured by Micromax and priced at $100, had a 4.5-inch display, a dual-SIM card slot, a microSD card slot, and a built-in FM radio. It’s unclear if this is the device that will launch the Android One program, but you can expect other One devices to offer much of the same.

Keeping the screen size small on these handsets keeps costs low, and adding a microSD card slot gives users the option to expand their own storage as they see fit. Dual-SIM functionality and an FM radio are features that are hugely popular in emerging markets like India and China.

In addition to Micromax, Google has also made Karbonn Mobiles and Spice — both of which are based on India — Android One hardware partners.