Going by the name ‘Android One’, Google will launch its latest affordable smartphone that will run on stock version of Android in India and is expected to be launched in Africa.
The phones will be branded “Android One,” after the company’s mobile operating system Android, and will cost less than $100. They are part of a new effort by Google to get devices based on its software into the hands of people who currently lack access to the Internet.
Already, one billion people use phones running Google’s Android software, said Sundar Pichai, leader of Google’s Android division, at the company’s I/O conference in San Francisco. “Our goal is to reach the next five billion people in the world,” he said. “In India and other countries like that, it’s disappointing that less than 10 percent of the population have access to smartphones.”
That device features include a 4.5-inch screen, dual SIM card slots, an SD memory card slot, and an FM radio. Like other initiatives by Google and its competitors to spread access to computing and the Internet in poor countries, Android One could help bring a lucrative new customer base online.
Indeed, low-cost Android phones are already common in Africa, but many of those devices use versions of the open-source software that don’t include services such as search, maps, and e-mail or access to Google’s app store. Android One devices will have those capabilities by default.