SAN FRANCISCO — It’s time to get even more people using Android smartphones, Google believes. And it has a plan.
At its Google I/O developer conference today, Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai announced a set of hardware reference platforms called AndroidOne. It’s meant to help phone manufacturers create less-expensive Android phones for sale in markets where $400 to $600 for a handset is out of reach for most people.
The resulting devices could feature a 4.5-inch screen, an FM radio, dual SIM, and an SD card — and they’ll hit the market for under $100, Pichai said.
The first stop for the new hardware? India, Pichai said.
The move could add to Android’s already large user base, which has now passed the 1 billion active user mark.
“We are working with many partners,” Pichai said, including Micromax and Karbonn, brands that are not well-known in the U.S. but which have significant market share in India.