Google launches Android One initiative in India to bring rich Android experience to affordable smartphones

In a press conference in New Delhi today, Google launched the Android One initiative in India and unveiled the first family of Android One smartphones from Micromax, Spice, and Karbonn.

The first three Android One smartphones launched in India are the Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, and Spice Dream UNO. The Android One phones will launch in Indonesia, the Philippines, and additional countries in South Asia by the end of the year. At the press conference, Pichai also announced an expanded set of hardware partners for the Android One initiative, including Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, and Xolo, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm.

The Android One phones offer the stock Android experience that is always latest, with a promise of updates for the next two years.


The three devices announced come with a 4.5-inch IPS display (480×854), dual SIM card slots, microSD card slot, and FM radio. Essentially, these three are same devices internally, and just differ in design and build. Powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek processor and 1GB of RAM, these devices pack in 4GB of internal storage and a 1700mAh battery. The phones feature a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing cameras.

If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 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. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

– Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & Apps

Airtel customers who buy Android One devices will get free over-the-air (OTA) updates, and 200MB per month worth of app downloads from Google Play for the first six months — all without counting toward their mobile data plan.

The Karbonn Sparkle V is available exclusively on Snapdeal, the Micromax Canvas A1 is available exclusively on Amazon, and the Spice Dream UNO is available exclusively on Flipkart. The prices of the devices start at ₹6,399 and these would be available in brick and mortar stores starting early October.

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Abhishek Baxi

Abhishek Baxi is an independent technology columnist for several international publications and a digital consultant. He speaks incessantly on Twitter (@baxiabhishek) and dons the role of Editor-in-Chief here at Techie Buzz.