Google Inc aims to further expand the reach of its popular mobile operating system, Android. The technology firm opened its I/O developers’ conference in the past week by introducing its Android One. It said this effort would help bring the system to more emerging markets. The first target of the effort would be India.
Senior vice president for Android, Chrome, and Apps Sundar Pichai, during his keynote speech at the I/O conference, unveiled an Android device that would take a suggested retail price of less than $100. It is a 4.5-inch smartphone coming with an SD card, dual SIM capability, and a built-in FM radio.
Targeting emerging markets
Initially, Android One would be launched in the Asian country through three network providers. This coming fall, it would be carried out by India’s Karbonn, Micromax, and Spice. There is no word yet about the plans for it to be launched in other emerging markets, but certainly, it would be introduced in other nations, soon.
The company said it would provide its partners with stock Android software and hardware reference designs. This effort would allow for instant or automatic updates when the operating system is in use. Through Google Play, the online store of the firm, users as well as carriers would also be able to add locally generated apps to their respective devices.
Internet expansion efforts
It can be recalled that Google already has several projects that are intended to help in the expansion of the reach of Internet access across the world. For one, the company has launched Project Loon that can connect online users through signals relayed by high-flying balloons.
Just recently, the search engine giant also bought Skybox, a satellite business that is aimed at helping improve the Internet access and specifically make the service available for assistance during disaster relief efforts.
Meanwhile, Android remains to be the top and most used mobile operating system in the world today. Trailing far behind it is its main rival, Apple Inc’s iOS. The system, which is a free software, is currently being installed in various devices developed and manufactured by different technology firms around the globe.