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…
In order for Google to effectively capture the Indian market, it needs the support of handset makers in the country, which appears to be going smoothly. Shashin Devsare, Executive Director of Karbonn Mobiles, recently confirmed to BGR India that it plans to launch a second-generation Android One smartphone in the first quarter of 2015.
“Expect new Android One smartphone in 2015 first quarter,” said Devsare, speaking at the Dream 500 Million Smartphones event in New Delhi. “We have had an excellent response on Android One devices. We believe that Android One will mature over time. Our partnership for Android One is going to be long term.”
Karbonn’s Sparkle V was one of three Android One smartphones to launch in September within the $100 range alongside the Micromax Canvas A1 and Spice Dream UNO. Hardware specifications are obviously not comparable to flagship devices, although they are still rather impressive given the price point. Second-generation Android One devices are expected to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.
Android One is as important a project to Google as it is to Android chief Sundar Pichai, who grew up in India and still travels frequently to his native country. India has several socioeconomic reasons why smartphone penetration remains relatively low, such as a lack of consistent electricity in several regions and a rich-poor divide when it comes to consumer electronics, but Google is ready to tackle those issues head-on with Android One.