Summary: Google is bringing Android back under its control thanks to a new hardware and software combination.
By Jo Best |
Google today unveiled Android One, a smartphone platform intended to give Android a new edge in emerging markets.
Android One puts Google in the driving seat like never before in determining how users experience its operating system.
Under Android One, Google has developed its reference hardware designs — meaning OEMs no longer have to develop and test their own smartphones, they just pick up Google’s ready-to-wear versions and get manufacturing. Google already has three local Indian smartphone makers signed up to do just that — Karbonn, Spice, and Micromax — all soon be be selling Google-designed, Android One-powered devices for around $100.
Android One uses a stock version of Android, as seen on its Nexus products — meaning no UI customiation is possible — but Google has graciously offered to let OEMs and mobile operators add their own apps to handsets running the OS. The operators don’t seem to mind the disintermediation much, and have teamed up with Google to launch Android One mobile plans to coincide with the launch of the new phones.
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