Google partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice for affordable Android smartphones – The Hindu Business Line : Mobile Edition
Google has announced a partnership with Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to launch affordable Android smartphones in India. This is part of a new initiative called Android One, which is aimed at connecting the next billion who don’t have access to smartphone.
The programme was announced by Google at its annual developers conference in San Francisco.
“Our partners will launch an initial range of sub-$100 Android One smartphones starting in India this fall, with more countries to follow. We’ve long wondered what potential could be unleashed if people everywhere had access to the latest technology and the world’s information. It’s time to find out,” Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps at Google wrote in a blog post.
Under the Android One initiative Google will work with partners on a comprehensive solution – which includes hardware reference platforms – to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets. “Android One will provide smartphones that are high quality, affordable and come with reasonable data plans,” Pichai said.
However, in a country like India, while access to affordable smartphones is an issue, access to cheaper high speed connectivity is also a challenge. Though telecom companies have been reducing data tariffs over the last few months, the usage is not picking as fast as they were hoping.
Google may have to partner with telecom companies to offer smartphones bundled with data connectivity. Facebook, for instance, has partnered with telecom operators in India to offer free access to its social networking platform.