DT Daily: Android One launches, washing machine dustup, cell phone lane on sidewalk

Today on DT Daily: The Android One smartphone project launches in India, LG and Samsung get into a spin over washing machines, and a Chinese city now has a section of the sidewalk dedicated to people using their cell phones.

Google has launched its Android One smartphone program in India, where it has partnered up with three local manufacturers to produce cheap devices running stock Android. How cheap? The equivalent of around $100, which will buy a basic 4.5-inch phone with Android 4.4 KitKat installed, no messy user interface over the top, local language support, and future updates delivered by Google itself. Android One is Google’s way of ensuring it can capitalize on the increasing demand for smartphones in India, one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

It’s only the beginning too, as nine more manufacturers – including HTC, Lenovo, and Asus – have all signed up to produce Android One phones in the future. Google has said phones in the Android One program will eventually be sold globally, helping the company reach its next billion users.

Samsung and LG are fierce business rivals, and compete against each other on almost all fronts. The scene of the latest, and weirdest, battle yet is Germany, where Samsung has accused LG of deliberately vandalizing its, um, washing machines. Samsung says LG employees, including senior executives, “deliberately destroyed” washing machines on display in a Berlin electronics store, just ahead of the recent IFA tech show.

Samsung was so incensed it called in the local cops to investigate. LG admits to “accidentally” breaking two Samsung washing machines, saying it happened because of “weak hinges,” but offered to pay for the machines at the time. The company then issued a statement saying, in a roundabout way, it wouldn’t be so stupid to tell its own executives to damage a rival’s products, it’d get someone else to do it instead.

If there’s one thing that really annoys me when I’m power-walking to the DT Daily studio, it’s my monster pace being ruined by shuffling slow-pokes not looking where they’re going, because they’re too busy using their mobile phones!

Well, China has come up with an interesting solution to this infuriating problem: dedicated parts of the sidewalk for anyone who wants to use their phone and shuffle along at the same time. The phone-only path has two directions to keep everything flowing nicely, and runs separately to a sidewalk for those of us who don’t want to keep slowing down.

Here’s hoping the idea catches on elsewhere soon, because we really can’t deal with another lawsuit after some crybaby gets upset when we shove them to the ground. Our heart rate is much more important than you texting your girlfriend, OK?

You host today is Greg Nibler.