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Innovation

Google launches Android One, eyes emerging markets

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.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

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.

Google I/O: Android stands at one billion active users and counting

CNET: Google I/O live coverage

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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