Android One continues Google’s world domination
Even if your heart lies in Apple or Microsoft's ecosystems; you must admit Android's rise is admirable. The first commercially-available version of Android launched in September 2008, six months after iOS, and is now accountable for 51.5% of devices in the U.S (according to comScore) and 85% worldwide (according to Strategy Analytics.)
For Google, their work isn't done. There are around 1.75 billion people who are fortunate enough to own a smartphone; but over five billion who do not. Of course this isn't purely a humanitarian effort for Google, unlike Apple who make money from selling hardware at a premium; the web giant makes its bucks from getting as many people online using their services as possible.
At I/O this year, the company's annual developer conference, Google talked about its plans to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. Today the initiative to achieve this goal has been launched under the name of 'Android One'.
Launching in India, Android One can be likened to the company's Nexus program which proves great devices don't have to be at an eye-watering cost. I'm sure you've all seen this recent viral image circulating around social networks comparing a £100 ($162) Nexus 4 from 2012 to the £539 ($649) upcoming iPhone 6...
Devices under Android One won't be as high-end as the Nexus-line; but they won't be "entry-level" either. Google is working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components in order to ship phones which have lots of processing power combined with high-quality front and rear cameras at affordable prices. Android One devices will also be "some of the first” to be updated to Android L later this year due to software updates coming directly from Google.
The first phones from hardware partners including; Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, will be available starting today in India from Rs 6,399 ($104)
It's not just devices which Google is helping to provide to these next five billion people either; the company will also be updating its services. YouTube will gain offline support so videos can be downloaded whilst on Wi-Fi from content creators around the world to be watched without a connection. With the vast amount of educational videos which are available on YouTube today; this could be a bigger deal than anyone is making out...
What do you think about Google's Android One initiative? Let us know in the comments.