Google officially announced Android One at its I/O developer conference earlier this year, detailing the project as a way to get affordable Android smartphones into the hands of users in emerging markets. Fast-forward to today and El Goog says that the first Android One phones are launching in India.
The first three Android One smartphones are the Spice Dream Uno, Karbonn Spice V and Micromax Canvas One. The trio of devices are available from various Indian retailers and are priced at Rs 6,299 ($103 USD), Rs 6,399 ($104 USD) and Rs 6,499 ($106 USD), respectively, and they each contain a similar set of features:
Google notes that all it’ll push updates directly to Android One devices, adding that they’ll be among the first products to receive Android L later this year.
Looking ahead, Android One devices will become available in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (including Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) by the end of 2014, with more countries planned for 2015. Google also named several more partners that’ll release Android One devices in the future, such as Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo. Qualcomm will also contribute chips to Android One hardware.
While Android One smartphones won’t appeal to spec hounds — which isn’t a surprise since that’s not the target market for these devices — they look like pretty nice devices for emerging markets. They’ve got sizable displays, expandable storage and swappable batteries, all for a very reasonable $100 price. Plus, the fact that they’ll be getting updates directly from Google means that owners won’t have to worry about their devices getting abandoned shortly after launch like so many other low-cost Android phones have.