Android One was announced by Google earlier this year as a program to increase smartphone ownership in countries where people have less disposable income. It was launched in India about three months ago. Google has now announced that in the coming weeks, Android One devices will start to go on sale in India’s neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
The Android One initiative aims to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. Google has coined the term “the next five billion people” as a slogan to underline the fact that while some 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population – over five billion more – do not. The scheme aims to help get smartphones into people’s hands by offering affordable hardware with the latest Android software, and with updates direct from Google.
The first three Android One devices came from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. They shared the same basic specs: a 4.5 inch display, a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor, dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and a built-in FM radio. Karbon are also working to release second generation Android One phones for Q1 2015.
In these new countries, which have a combined population of over 200 million people, a large range of manufacturers and network partners will begin to sell Android One smartphones. Alongside Karbonn, Micromax, and Spice, Symphony Mobile will also launch its first Android One phone with the Symphony Roar A50.
When the Android One initiative was launched, it was expected that Android One phones will be available in Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, by the end of 2014. It looks as if Google has managed to achieve at least part of this, and it is likely that Android One will be launched in the other countries during 2015.