“Android One” programme was announced at the Google’s I/O 2014, It gained the attention of all tech enthusiasts and it seems to be the best shot for Google to offer cheap smart phones with the latest Android software updates which would allow a uniform user experience.
Sadly, almost all phones, irrespective of the OEM, within the ₹10,000 range have failed to receive any meaningful updates until now, which makes Motorola Moto E is probably the only phone that did receive two updates to the latest version of Android in this price segment.
The problem was mainly due to the OEM’s who make these affordable by all devices. Due to several constraints they simply opt to build devices and then forget them. Even worse, local Indian manufacturers like Micromax sell rebranded chinese devices to the Indian market. Micromax’s flagship Canvas 4 was just rebranded device which is available around in the world in different names.
With the Android One programme, Google wants to change that. All devices under this programme will receive updates to the latest version of Android as they are released. Although, duration of support is unknown but It’s the best assurance that Google will bring a software update for the device unlike the manufacturer.
Google has set forth few guidelines which the OEM’s would have to adhere to, these include dual SIM slots, SD card support, a 5 megapixel camera, quad core processor, 1GB RAM, and a 1700-mAh battery. Display sizes would be vary between 4.3 to 4.5 inches.
Micromax, Spice and Karbonn are the 3 manufacturers who are set to launch devices under this programme early September. Unlike the I/O announcement, these devices would be priced higher than the announced sub 100$ range. The price of the phones under the Android One programme could range from ₹ 7,000 to ₹ 10,000.
All the phones that will be launched will be running on the latest version of Android (KitKat 4.4.4) at the time of launch and an update to Android L seems imminent.