Google had plenty to showcase during last month’s developer-focused I/O conference on the unfinished software front, including Android L, but perhaps the most notable if somewhat overlooked announcement saw a little program called Android One formally debut.
Mind the formally, as commercially, Big G took the enigmatic route, disclosing merely that the first Android One devices will become available in the fall. When exactly in the fall? According to fairly credible sources over in India, in time for the nation’s Diwali festival, i.e. in early October.
No idea if just one of Google’s hardware manufacturing partners shall break the ice then, or all of them (Karbonn, Micromax and Spice), but whoever gets the foreground position, it needs to rely on MediaTek for the supplying of processors and follow a strict overall set of guidelines.
The recommended retail price can’t exceed $100, yet microSD support has to be included on Android One handhelds in addition to an FM radio, room for two SIM cards and a 4.5-inch display. Basically, Micromax, Karbonn and Spice will thus ship out low-cost Nexus alternatives, which Google vows to adorn with near-stock Android ports and regular timely updates.
The search giant could reportedly invest a whopping $16.5 million in marketing and advertising right off the bat, and India is just the start for Android One. Indonesia should be next on the list by the end of the year, plus a number of extra emerging, “newly industrialized” countries. Yup, feature phones are dead and gone.