Android One is Google's Nexus program for emerging markets

Google wants Developers to reach emerging markets, but how will they? There are sidestepped versions of Android like Nokia's devices and platform, but those don't make sense for many. At I/O, Google is announcing Android One, which is squarely focussed on those markets where a good device is needed, but not readily available.

Starting in India, Google will bring what amounts to a low-specced Nexus device to market. Partnering with carriers like Karbonn, Cromax, and Spice, the first device will be made by the familiar Micromax. Sporting things Sundar Pichai notes as "important" to the market, the phone will have a 4.5-inch screen, FM Radio, an SD Card, and Dual SIM.

The program is meant as a turn-key operation, where approved manufacturers can simply make the device Google has designed and distribute widely — and cheaply. The first of these devices (the one we noted above) will cost under $100. In an emerging market where smartphone implementation is low due in part to cost, that's important.

Google will control this process, too. They'll qualify vendors, and the software will e the same we find on Nexus device. That means Google will control the upgrades and updates on the software end. It's a nice iteration of the low-spec device needs KitKat started.

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