Android One has been in the news a fair amount the last few days, thanks to the release of it's first three handsets and it's official launch in the worlds second largest smart phone market, India. Android One might be newly hatched, but that doesn't mean that Google's attempt to reach the next billion smart phone users by offering affordable smart phones with a better software experience is free from lofty expectations. At least if the comments of MediaTek's Vice-President (VP) of US Business Development are anything to go by.
The MediaTek VP Mohit Bhushan has stated that the company expects to sell between 1.5 to 2 million Android One handsets in the remaining months of 2014. He went on to say that "In the short term, there will be disruptions. But, this will eventually lead to handset makers not part of Android One investing on innovating the mobile experience." Which basically means that while he expects Android One to make waves and take market share in the budget handset segment, he naturally expects the non-Android One smart phone makers to up their respective games in order to compete better. And in order to compete, the other manufacturers will have to begin offering a better Android experience combined with good hardware and an affordable price.
MediaTek is well-known for providing processors for other budget handsets, so it makes sense that they are providing the CPU for the initial batch of Android One handsets such as the Micromax Canvas A1 and its stablemates/competitors from Spice and Karbonn. The CPU in question is the MT6582 mobile SoC (system-on-Chip), and its a Quad-Core processor that is clocked at 1.3GHz and based on ARM's CortexTM A7 processor. MediaTek says that the chip's multi-tasking ability and sustained performance-per-watt will make for a premium mobile experience.
With companies such as MediaTek providing low-cost components and Google themselves being responsible for updating the firmware on the Android One smart phones whose prices begin from Rs. 6,499, it's difficult to see a downside to the initiative. One thing for sure, it's going to stir up the budget phone segment in India. If you are in the market for a budget smart phone, does the Android One range of phones tick your boxes? Or, are you still waiting to grab a Xiaomi Redmi 1S? Let us know at our Google Plus page.