A couple of months ago, Google announced during Google I/O that they had plans for an Android One series of smartphones, which is basically Google’s way of creating affordable handsets designed to capture emerging markets. Google would be providing the reference design and companies who are interested can just start producing them right away.
Now the specs of such devices are obviously nothing to shout about, but according to Google one of its key selling points would be the fact that it would be priced below $100. Unfortunately according to The Economic Times of India, it seems that will no longer be happening. They report that the devices will instead end up being sold for around $115-$165 which is higher than what Google had initially planned.
So what gives? Why the price hike? Well apparently Google has been really particular about the quality of the Android One handsets, which means that in order to meet Google’s requirements, better quality hardware is needed, which in turn drives up the price of the handset. The good news is that instead of launching in October, the report claims that a September launch could be possible.
The Android One handsets have been planned for an initial launch in India this September and are expected to come with Android 4.4.4 KitKat preinstalled. However they are also expected to be upgraded to Android L in October which we guess isn’t too bad. Will the higher price point defeat the purpose of Android One devices? We guess we’ll just have to wait and see to find out.