Google launches Android One, eyes emerging markets

Summary:Android One is an initiative to define reference platforms so original equipment manufacturers can more easily build phones that'll sell for less than $100.

Google on Wednesday outlined plans for Android One, a version of the search giant's mobile operating system with hardware reference designs aimed at emerging markets such as India.

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The effort, outlined by Android chief Sundar Pichai, is aimed at getting the next 1 billion Android users the platform. The catch is that price for devices and software need to come down. In a nutshell, Android One is an initiative to define reference platforms so original equipment manufacturers can more easily build phones.

Google's approach is similar to what it does with the Nexus devices. "The software comes from Google, just like Nexus and Google Play initiative phones," said Pichai. Google has more control over the platform yet allows for some customization. Micromax, an India smartphone player, will offer a device with a dual SIM, SD card, 4.5 inch screen and FM radio. Spice and Karbonn Mobiles are also hardware partners.

The devices will go or less than $100. 

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Smartphones

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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