In a bid to reach out to the next billion users in emerging markets with a special focus on India, Google has introduced a new initiative called Android One at Google I/O 2014, its ongoing annual developer conference at Moscone Center, San Francisco. (Our entire coverage of Google I/O 2014 here) Through this initiative, Google is looking to enable manufacturers build sub-$100 smartphones in emerging markets more easily and quickly. Sundar Pichai, Senior vice president, Android, Chrome & Apps at Google told that OEMs in each country have to "re-invent the wheel and in the fast-paced mobile industry, they have to build a new smartphone within 9 months." Pichai said they are working on creating a set of hardware reference platforms, identifying components which can go into a "high-quality next-gen affordable smartphone" and pre-qualifying vendors for those parts so that they can offer OEMs with turnkey solutions to build smartphones. In terms of software, all the phones will feature stock Android with regular software updates, just like Nexus and Google Play edition devices. Google will also allow OEMs and carriers to automatically install "locally relevant" apps through Google Play, however Pichai notes that users will have full controls over these apps. Google is also apparently working with carriers in these markets to bundle low-cost data plans with these phones. Partners: Pichai said the program will start from India later this fall (around September or October) and the company has initially partnered with Indian OEMs like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice* for this initiative. While there isn't much information on the first set of Android…
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