At I/O, Google introduced its Android One initiative for emerging markets, a partnership with certain handset makers that will create devices closely following Google’s orders, both when it comes to hardware and software. Android One handsets will be affordable smartphones ready to offer users an unaltered Android experience, running stock Android and receiving updates directly from Google. But these devices will not launch running Google’s brand new Android version, The Economic Times reports.
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Android One handsets are expected in India in early September, with the Android L update supposed to hit at some point in October. The phones will run Android 4.4.4 KitkAt out of the box, which is Google’s most recent Android OS version for the time being.
Three companies are currently working with Google on Android One devices, including Micromax, Karbonn and Spice, and their smartphones will retail for prices between Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000, more expensive than the initially expected sub-$100 price (Rs. 6,000). The publication says that prices have gone slightly up as Google wants to offer better features and apps to users.
One of these devices is going to pack a 1,700mAh battery, dual SIM support and microSD card. Android One devices are supposed to offer displays measuring up to 4.5 inches diagonally, as well as 5-megapixel cameras.
Google is expected to also release Android One handsets in other emerging markets depending on how its India experiment will go.