Android One initiative expanding to Indonesia w/ three affordable smartphones

Android One Indonesia

Android One, Google’s program focused on bringing high quality smartphones to developing markets at affordable price points, is expanding to Indonesia later this month, the company announced today. Indonesia will become the fifth country in which Google has rolled out the Android One program since the initiative was first introduced at Google I/O last year. Read more

Samsung announces Z1, the first smartphone powered by Tizen, available in India today

Samsung-Unveils-the-Samsung-Z1-the-First-Tizen-Powered-Smartphone-for-Indian-Consumers

Samsung today revealed its first Tizen-powered smartphone, dubbed the Z1. The phone was originally teased as the “Samsung Z” in June of last year, and was supposed to be available in Russia in Q3 2014, but faced delays that pushed the release back until the new year.

Rather than launching the Z1 in Russia, however, Samsung is instead opting to only make the device available in India for the time being. While the originally teased phone featured decent specs, the version that went to market today sports decidedly less advanced internals targeting the entry-level market.

Read more

Delhi High Court temporarily lifts OnePlus One ban

181707-oneplusonefull

Micromax (which recently launched the Yurkea smartphone under the brand name “YU Digital”), had an exclusivity agreement for using the Cyanogen OS in India, and took OnePlus to court earlier this monthbanning them from selling their phone under order of the Delhi High Court. Now, it appears that very same court has had a change of heart, at least for now, and the ban on the OnePlus has been temporarily lifted (via India Times).

In a reprieve to the company, judges on Wednesday said the case “shall be heard and decided afresh”. The case will come up for hearing on January 7 under a single judge. “We dispose off the appeal, setting aside the impugned order dated December 16, 2014,” Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and RK Gauba said in their order on OnePlus’s petition, a copy of which was seen by ET.

Read more

‘Samsung couldn’t build a good OS if they tried’ says Cyanogen CEO at Yureka smartphone launch

PC_Main_Adapt._V333499073_

A new company being birthed from Micromax (similar to how OnePlus came from OPPO) called YU Digital has launched a new middle-tier smartphone today for the Indian market, and it runs Cyanogen OS 11—much like the OnePlus One. In fact, this entire launch seems pretty familiar, as it appears YU Digital is attempting to do with the Yureka exactly what OnePlus did with the One: launch a phone out of nowhere at a killer price and hope viral marketing does its thing.

Read more

Android One making strides in India as Karbonn commits to long-term partnership

Karbonn and Micromax Android One

Earlier this year, Google announced a new initiative called Android One that aims to bring high quality, affordable smartphones to emerging markets like India and China. Not long after, it confirmed that it would be aggressively marketing Android One smartphones in India, a largely untapped user base of nearly 1.3 billion people, and followed through by launching the program in the country last September. Now Karbonn, an Indian smartphone maker, is further committing to a long term partnership to the Android One initiative… Read more

OnePlus celebrates 1-year anniversary w/ invitation-free sales, a $15 battery pack … and being banned in India

oneplus

OnePlus is celebrating it’s first anniversary by making its OnePlus One ‘flagship killer’ smartphone available without the invitation you’ve so far needed to order one. Both the white 16GB and black 64GB models are available.

The company is also offering 11% of all accessories, a prize draw to win a 64GB model and a competition to name its forthcoming custom ROM in which you can win both a phone and a trip to Hong Kong to meet the team.

Yesterday’s ‘Go further’ teaser, however, turned out to be rather unexciting …  Read more

Patent dispute halts some (all?) Xiaomi smartphone sales in India (Update: confirmed)

xiaomi-phones

The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets …  Read more

YouTube begins rolling out offline video playback to Android devices in three countries

png_base64296a119a19d3b8b7

Google announced today that it has started rolling out support for offline video playback in the YouTube Android app for three countries: India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The company says that the goal is to help work around limited access to high-speed internet connections.

The new mode will allow many videos to be cached directly on the phone for up to 48 hours in order to be played back later. Users will have the option of selecting what resolution they’d like to cache to make the process as efficient as possible.

Read more

SwiftKey for Android updated with faster performance and new languages

SwiftKey Android Lollipop Material Design

Just weeks after receiving a Material Design makeover for Android Lollipop, the popular custom keyboard SwiftKey for Android has been updated with performance improvements and support for twelve new languages. The latest version of SwiftKey for Android is available now through the Play Store as a free update. Read more

Google launches three $100-ish Android One phones in India, more countries to follow

android-one

Google today made good on its promise to bring high-quality affordable Android phones to developing markets with the launch of three locally-made Android One models in India, each selling for the equivalent of around $100. Each handset is made by a different Indian manufacturer, Spice with the Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, Micromax with the Canvas A1 and Karbonn the Sparkle V.

The hardware requirements for Android One devices were set by Google to deliver a good experience with the latest stock versions of Android. All three handsets are supplied with the latest KitKat 4.4.4, and Google is promising that they will receive two years of updates, starting with the Android L update …  Read more

Xiaomi claims to have sold 40,000 budget smartphones in India in 4.2 seconds

Chinese Android manufacturer Xiaomi may be trying to compete at the high end of Android devices with it’s iPhone-inspired Mi 3 handset and unsubtley-named Mi Pad, but it isn’t neglecting the low-end of the market. Its Redmi 1S just launched in India and, according to a tweet by former Google exec and now Xiaomi Global VP, sold 40,000 units in 4.2 seconds …  Read more