Google going big with Android One, first phone to launch in October

by: Edgar CervantesJuly 15, 2014

android one

For Americans, the Android One announcement at Google IO may have been a bit of a lackluster, but this could be the very project that takes Android to 5 billion users. It’s a program that will bring good, affordable smartphones to emerging markets. New reports claim the first device is set to launch this October, in India.

We can assume this will be Micromax’s smartphone, which Google mentioned would be the very first Android One device to launch. At only $100, this could be a major hit in emerging markets. Sources claim this will be a Flipkart exclusive, a retailer that has become very popular in India. After all, their success with the Moto E, X and G has been unparalleled.


They will definitely need a little push, though. In this competitive market, no new device will make it without some exposure, and Google is willing to help with that. The Search Giant is not giving India just crumbs and emotional support either, they are investing Rs 100 crore, which equals to a billion Rupees (or about 16.7 million USD). All for the sake of taking Android One off the ground and into a successful launch.

Sundar Pichai is expected to visit India and bring us more details soon. So far we know the program also includes manufacturers like Karbonn and Spice, aside from the already-mentioned Micromax. If all goes well, emerging markets will see great low-end smartphones before the end of the year.


The benefit in Android One is that manufacturers can make affordable smartphones and put in their own apps, but the near-stock experience and software backbone will unload much of the work it takes to keep the device updated. Much like the Google Play Edition and Nexus programs, Android One devices will be updated directly from Google. This changes everything, guys. And as we have mentioned in the past, it could be the best announcement we saw at Google IO.

Do keep in mind these are not official announcements, though. Let’s not hold our breath until we get more than just rumors and reports.

  • Mike Reid

    Do not expect Android One to be easily available or cheap outside of “emerging markets”.

    There are clear reasons why Google does NOT want we “first world”‘ers to have FM radio and SDCards.

    Google is “breaking it’s own rules” only because they MUST to have success in less well off parts of the world.

    • xoj_21

      FM radio its because the tech is propiertary
      and SD card.. well microsoft have FAT 32, but the problem is they dont put 32gb an 64gb default in their phones making them useless without the slots.
      for movies , games, cloud storage is useless.

      • Mike Reid

        No SDCard = Google favoring their cloud services.

        No FM Radio = Google favoring their music sales and services, and FM radio ads compete with Google. Google enforces use of their HALs for other hardware, and they could have done the same with the ST-Ericsson proposed FM API (which my Spirit FM apps support, BTW.)

        Google is not a charity. It’s a shrewd business, skilled at making money and being an Internet juggernaut.

        • ksavai

          if you are going for sub 100$ phone I doubt those group ever buy cloud service. So google is smart just to give them SD card and increase their reach.

          • sigourd

            So you mean those $100 phone have more choice than $500 one?

          • ksavai

            ofcourse. thats true in any thing. cheaper things will always have more competition and value for money.

        • Stephan Hall

          I agree …. as much as I enjoy android ….. you are correct. I question why they will not allow end-users to control permissions without “rooting”! Google is very intrusive!

  • AbbyZFresh

    Android One will not be an easy success with the introduction of Xiaomi and their competitive specs of a Nexus 5 for a cheap price.

    • ksavai

      Yes… but people who wants latest update and stock experience with better customer service wont go to xiaomi. but it will be interesting fight to watch.

      • alfreduran

        Hi! Exactly!

      • AbbyZFresh

        How many people outside of us techies actually care about updates?

        The only thing people seem to want are access to the Play Store to get their FB and texting apps.

        • ksavai

          that true. I agree. On other note some trend I saw where people just want to be on latest they dont event know/care what new they got with their update. Even many in custom rom threads just want to flash latest nighty, they will be happy if just version number is incremented lol

    • Shark Bait

      I disagree, giving oem’s standard hardware, and then doing the software work for them will reduce their variable costs considerably. This should help lower the overall cost of already cheap hardware.

      From a users perspective, they will certainly get a smoother and better experience with software straight from the experts at Google, similar to the moto g and e, as well as the promise of updates. I think its a great strategy thats mutually beneficial for users, OEMs, Google and devs. Pleasing that many party’s means their will be big support for the project which will drive its sucsess

    • joser116

      Isn’t Xiaomi only in China?

      • ksavai

        nope going for sale in india

    • joser116

      Android One is aiming for those really poor people who can’t even afford Xiaomi, so I disagree.

  • KC

    Doubt it’ll be a success. Even their Moto-X, Moto-G, etc. are doing poorly here in SE Asia. Plus Moto’s are reported to have very dangerously high SAR ratings, harmful to the ears.

    And now the most desirable display size for smartphones is 5.5″, big enough for those with poor eyesight, and comfortable enough to fit into the jeans pocket. And Moto is far behind in this.

    IMO, stock Android is too dull and boring, to compete with other more colorful and innovative UIs.

    • cizzlen

      Google isn’t really doing much or anything right since Kit Kat. If Android L doesn’t live up then I’m done with this mess of a company. Stock Android sucks and if it weren’t for OEMs Android would be nothing.

      • Tony T.

        Hope you guys realize that you’re in the minority. OEM skins have become less heavy and more stock like. Vanilla Android is getting better and better in most people’s eyes. There are things to be had with things like Xposed, but that’s the great thing about Android, if you don’t like stock, then you can easily flash a ROM or mod stock Android. Phones with stock Android tend to get way more support and many ROMs are based on AOSP, so not really sure what you are complaining about.

        • cizzlen

          Minority of what, tech blogs? They’ve made the UI more fluid but skins are skins that come packed with different features. You’re actually in the minority when you talk about rooting, ROMS etc. Most people simply don’t care. Hence the reason why Samsung sells millions, just like the iPhone. Nothing new has come out of Kit Kat since it came out so gotta give credit to OEMs for including features that even Google can take cues from here and there.

      • ksavai

        Exactly as tony T said. Apart from samsung and HTC all skins are very light and most of the emerging market phones have almost no skin just few apps of bloatware installed. Majority of people accepting that and getting used to it apart from flashing rom community. OEM skins will die or trimmed in coming years.

        • George Ionescu

          Hmmm… Maybe LG’s skin too?
          And HTC Sense (from the 5th version, at least) is, in my opinion, a improvement from stock Android.

          • ksavai

            never used LG skin thats why forgot. yeah LG skin too needs to stop following samsung.

        • cizzlen

          OEM skins will not die lol. There’s nothing wrong with skins like Touchwiz. It’s colorful and easy to use because Samsung optimized it tremendously. That has nothing to do with resembling stock that’s just improving performance.

      • joser116

        I agree with you.

        I have long been an Android fanboy, but I have seen the iPhone 5s and it is very polished. I have never seen an Android phone as polished as the iPhone 5s. It is beautiful.

        Google really needs to get their stuff together, they are doing good right now, but that is not enough. They can’t settle for good. They need to strive for perfection.

        I have long always recommended all my friends and family members to buy Android phones. But now, recommending Android doesn’t come that easy. The iPhone 5s really is a gorgeous phone. The experience is awesome, its well engineered and is physically seamless. Too bad I have already invested into the Android ecosystem and I love Google Now and Google’s experimentation. They really need to get a stranglehold on apps though (more curation) and updates.

        • cizzlen

          Agreed. At least when Apple comes out with features they do it right. For instance, absolutely no Android phone can execute the finger print reader as well as Apple has. Not only that but apps are superior in every way. You don’t have to root and rom your phone either for things to work.

          • joser116

            While we agree on Google needing to strive for perfection, to be fair, not all apps on iOS are superior to Android.

            And also, your last sentence also applies to iOS. iOS users have to jailbreak in some cases in order to get some features that Android has in stock. However, this has become less the case recently since iOS has added many features that Android has had.

      • Dasaviour

        Stock android is actually better than the skinned OS that for example Samsung provides… Because first of all due to heavy skins and too much of bloatware the phones do face performance issues but the stock is very light and smooth so that you don’t have to sacrifice your Device’s performance… And as for the customizations you have penalty of apps in play store so you can have hand picked features and you don’t have to face the plenty of useless bloatwares …. And the stock is most easy to be frank it doesn’t have any sort of complications what so ever… More over KitKat had a lot of optimizations (better battery life, faster in loading apps, better performance because of lower system requiremenrs ) if you don’t already know that… I guess you still don’t know android that well…

        • cizzlen

          I don’t know Android well? It sounds like you just discovered it. “Bloatware” is something carriers add. Companies need to differentiate their phone’s experience, if you knew a thing about business you’d understand this. I guess my G3 sucks because I can use knock on or do something as simple as customize the look of my nav buttons, something Google still hasn’t grasped.

          I was the hugest stock fan boy since the OG droid but Google hasn’t done anything since Kit Kat. OEMs are the sole reason why Android is still popular. If you can’t see that then you’re pretty much another blind Android fanboy no worse than the Apple “sheep” most of you people tend to complain about.

          And btw there is nothing wrong with Touchwiz. Not Samsung’s fault Android sucks at handling feature filled phones. People like stylish and functional not minimal nerdy shit no one cares about.

          • Stephan Hall

            Touchwiz completely sucks. Stock android with an unlocked boot loader allows one to make the phone any way you want. If you want glitter and features …you can do that. Launchers, custom roms …….. unload what you don’t want. Are you kidding? You know shit about android as is evident by ur post.

          • cizzlen

            Lol thanks for proving my point you dumb fuck. Did you compare stock features vs the G3 M8 and GS5 yourself? Talking about unlocked bootloaders as if anyone gives a shit besides little nerds locked up in their Android bubbles like yourself. Lmao. You sound pretty fucking stupid as evidenced by your shitty post.

          • Stephan Hall

            Sob…sob …… whaaaaaaaa …sniff …sniff! It’ll be okay! It’ll pass. Maybe just a few saw your post! From now on ….. do your homework and organize your facts before you post. We’ve heard all the excuses before. Now you resort to calling people names ……. pretty much a clue that your busted!

          • cizzlen

            Lol shut the fuck up. Ain’t no one reading that wall of text.

    • ksavai

      Thats where lauchers comes into picture. There are more than couple innovative launchers which are non stock feel for minority who dont like that. And if more customization there are custom roms with theme support which is working perfectly

  • LoriEHutcherson

    Google is paying 80$ per>>CLICK NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP

  • Blowntoaster

    I’d rather take an Android One device that you know has proper support and development than a device from any other OEM that might probably not get any major updates. Motorola at this stage has a one up on every other OEM with regards to entry level – midrange devices. If you don’t buy a flagship, you’re screwed.

    • Stephan Hall

      I agree …Motorola has shown excellence in this regard. They are deserving of their recent success. Their next phones which are coming soon will be very interesting.

  • Les

    I;’m more worried with Auto Update feature. I hope it can be turned off

  • Daanyal Malik

    Waiting for the day when Google brings this to Pakistan.

  • Tjaldid

    So Android L October release Confirmed

  • Will S.

    Out of everything in their IO, I think Android One is the most important and the one that will take off.

  • s2weden2000