Google set its sights on developing markets this year, announcing Android One during its Google I/O keynote this past June. Android One would provide resources for manufacturers to quickly and easily put together handsets running stock Android, while simultaneously giving users access to speedy software updates. With phones priced at $100 or less, the program promised to really step-up the quality we find at the bottom of the budget hardware barrel. Last we heard, the first Android One models might debut in India sometime in late October. Now new rumors suggest that Android One could arrive quite a bit sooner – though also at a higher price.
Instead of going up for sale around Diwali in the waning days of October at that $100 price point, we now hear that Android One phones from manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice will be released in early September, and sell for more in the $115 to $165 range.
Sources claim the price increases are tied to Google demands for additional hardware features and higher-quality apps, though it’s not clear what specific changes might be responsible for that pretty significant bump.
Launching so soon, this hardware would arrive running Android 4.4.4, rather than the expected Android L. Reportedly, these models would be quick to get L updates (as has been one of the big Android One selling points); those could land as soon as October.
We still might get that $100 Android One phone at some point, but from the sound of things, we shouldn’t be holding our breath.