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Google launches Android One smartphones for Rs.6,399

New Delhi: Google Monday launched in India the first smartphones under its Android One project priced at Rs.6,399, an official said here.

The first set of Android One smartphone devices are Micromax Canvas A1, Spice Dream UNO and Karbonn Sparkle V. The phones, which aim to capture the low-cost segment of the world's fastest growing smartphone market, are available online through Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal from Monday in India and will be available in retail stores from early October, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome & Apps, said.

The phones have features like front and rear-facing cameras, 1GB of memory, fast quad-core MediaTek processor, long battery life as well as features particularly important to Indians, including dual SIM slots, an FM radio tuner, and a microSD card slot for additional storage.

"If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it's through a smartphone. 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.

"By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we're making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone," Pichai said.

He said, India is the third largest user of the internet globally. "Still there are 1 billion people in the country who do not have to access to Internet."

Bharti Airtel is offering a promotion to reduce data costs for those who buy Android One phones. With an Airtel SIM card, Android One users will get free over-the-air (OTA) updates, and 200MB per month worth of app downloads from Google Play for the first six months.

"As telecommunication transforms itself into essential services across entertainment, healthcare, education, banking (around) $100 smartphones are critical for enabling masses to access these services at ease. Android One is a step towards this segment that will further augment the proliferation of smartphones in the country and empower public at large," Anand Chandrasekaran, chief product officer, Bharti Airtel said.

Following its launch in India Android One will be launched in Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Asked about the timing of the launches, Caesar Sengupta, vice president of product management at Google said: "It will happen over the next few months."

Through Google Play, Android One phones have access to over one million apps that allow people to message friends, make video calls, socialize, check news and weather, and play games. Google apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Translate will come pre-loaded on the phones.

Google also announced that in the coming weeks much of YouTube will be available offline in India.

Pichai also announced an expanded set of hardware partners for the Android One initiative, including Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, and Xolo, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm.

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