Google has launched the first smartphones under its ‘Android One’ project in India today at a price of 6,399 Indian Rupees (£64.50), with the aim of helping people in the country reap the benefits of the web.
First announced at the Google I/O developer conference earlier this year, Android One is a project designed to ensure that Android is the operating system of choice for a new generation of cheap devices aimed at customers in the developing world.
Rather than a new technology per se, Android One consists of a list of minimum hardware requirements for devices to run Android without any problems. The standard also removes ‘software bloat’, which could cripple performance, and offers automatic updates to boost security.
Google calls it “a comprehensive solution to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets”.
According to Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Android, Chrome and Apps, there are three main reasons why it is hard for people in developing countries to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone: hardware price, access to software updates and apps, and access to 3G and 4G data networks.