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Google yesterday announced that  its Android One phones will go on sale in the next few weeks as part of its global initiative to bring high-quality smartphones to the masses.

But what is the Android One initiative? Read below for a quick run through what this campaign is all about.


What is Android One?

Android One is an initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. We are working with hardware partners to ship these devices in multiple countries around the world — India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and now the Philippines. Going forward all devices will come with the latest version of Android (Lollipop) and will continue to get updates as they are released.

Why is Google doing this?
While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.


What are the barriers towards high-quality smartphones?
There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone.
● Hardware: Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250).
● Software: Many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications.
● Data: Even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.
Android One aims to tackle these problems. By partnering with phone and silicon chip makers to share design specs and manufacturing standards, we’ve been able to build phones that are not just good phones, but also affordable.

How does Android One help address these challenges?
● Great hardware: Android One phones have great processing power, so users can get information quickly. They have high-quality front and back cameras. Apps and videos take up storage space, so these smartphones have ample memory as well as a micro-SD slot to add more. We also added features that we know people in the Philippines will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.

● The latest software: To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices ship with the latest version of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. Android One phones in the Philippines will come with the latest and fastest version of Android (Lollipop) and will automatically update to new versions. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

What is happening in the Philippines?
Google is working with Cherry Mobile and MyPhone to bring Android One smartphones to the Philippines. The Philippines is the sixth country for Android One.

Why the Philippines?
The Philippines is 2nd largest Internet market in Southeast Asia and 6th in Asia. This year alone, we expect 10 million Filipinos to engage with the internet for the first time using mobile phones. In the next two years, the Philippines expects to overtake Korea’s internet population as it reaches 66% internet penetration.


What’s next for Android One?
We continue to work globally with hardware partners such as Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo and chipmaker Qualcomm to build more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors and hardware configurations. These will be rolling out to new countries around the world.


Google brings Android One: High Quality Smartphones for the Masses

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