The most interesting news of this year’s Google I/O is a new program that the company calls Android One. In an effort to see an Android smartphone in every hand across the world and to help its OEM partners, who are forced to develop a smartphone every 9 months to stay ahead in the intensely competitive market, Google is launching a new Android hardware and software reference platforms. Those references will undoubtedly allow them to easily design high-quality smartphones at low costs.
Google’s Pichai also said he’d been using a Micromax Android One smartphone for a while now, and was really impressed, despite being used to top-end phones for daily use.
On the software side, Google is giving hardware manufacturers access to its Play Store to help them add locally relevant apps to their devices. It’s also handling all the software updates automatically, just like it does for Nexus devices.
Google is initially teaming up with three OEMs: Micromax, Karbon and Spice. The program will start this fall in India. One example of what the hardware could look like is a model from Micromax , which features a 4.5 inch screen, dual-SIM support, an SD card slot, and an FM radio. Google says that it will cost under $100.