There have been lots of rumors circulating on the Internet that Google doesn't plan on continuing to offer any new Nexus smartphones that would go along with its new version of Android.The search giant seems to have suddenly changed its marketing policy and is now looking to gain more traction on the emerging markets. This is why Google has announced the Android One initiative today.
According to Google's Sundar Pichai, “there are many people – billions of people, in fact – who still don’t have access to a smartphone. We want to change that.”
Android One is the solution offered by Google to those who can't afford to pay for a Nexus handset or can't find one in their country due to their limited availability.
Google has confirmed that is now working with partners on putting together multiple hardware reference platforms that would address the needs of those in emerging markets.
The most important thing that matters for customers in these emerging markets is price, which is why Google is looking to build the cheapest smartphone possible, but with excellent components offered by various partners.
Thus, Google has confirmed that the first Android One smartphones will be launched in India this fall and they will be available for purchase for under $100 (€75) outright.
In order to bring these Android One smartphones in India, Google has signed partnerships with three native OEMs that will release these devices in the country: Micromax, Karbonn and Spice.
Unfortunately, little is known about the hardware configuration of these Android One smartphones, aside from the info provided by Sundar Pichai during the Google I/O keynote.
According to him, Android One smartphones have been specially designed to include some of the most important features for customers in India.
This means that these Android One handsets will offer dual-SIM capability, microSD card slot for memory expansion and FM Radio. Google has also confirmed that they will sport 4.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display.
Regardless of their hardware, all Android One smartphones will come with stock Android L and will receive updates regularly directly from Google, just like the Nexus and Google Play Edition lineups.
However, given the fact that Android One lineup is aimed at emerging markets where Nexus devices rarely make their debut, it seems unlikely that the former will replace the latter.