India is first country to receive €80 Android One phone

15 Sep 2014

India will be the first country in the world to receive the €80 Android One phone that will supposedly offer reasonably high-end specs for a cheap price.

Led by Indian national Sundar Piachi who is Android’s leading developer, the production details of the phone have put a heavy emphasis on making it as cheap as possible to produce as competitors, such as the US$33 Mozilla smartphone, enters the market.

Targeted firmly at developing nations where higher-end phones are out of reach for the average person, much of the phone’s hardware has been outsourced to Indian manufacturers who have the option to select components from a list compiled by Google to suit their budget.

According to the BBC, the first phone confirmed for the market will be produced by Micromax who are currently India’s largest and most successful indigenous mobile phone manufacturer.

Manufacturers must meet Google’s minimum specifications of a 4.5in screen, 1GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing and 2MP front-facing camera, quadcore processor and the ability to run Android L when it is released.

Google has also confirmed that it has agreed deals with India’s mobile networks to not charge users of the phone for Android updated for the first six months as well as being able to download 200MB-worth of apps from the Google Play store at no cost.

Speaking to the BBC, Indian telecoms analyst, Mohammad Chowdhury, said they could potentially open a significant market if it proves successful: “”If Google can start convincing people that the experience of using data will be better on these phones, I think that will result in fairly fast uptake, particularly as word of mouth is quite good in India.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic