Android One brings low-end phones to emerging markets
It's called Android One, and it's a new initiative for Google to bring a Nexus-like experience to smartphones for emerging markets. Introduced by Sundar Pichai at Google I/O during Wednesday morning's keynote, the company has a handful of partners already in tow, featuring phones at very affordable prices.
The first smartphone showcased from the Android One program is made by MicroMax, bringing with it Dual-SIM card slots, a 4.5-inch display, SD card slot, and FM radio. Best of all, this particular smartphone will run less than $100.
Initially launching in India, the initiative has partnered with MicroMax, Sprice, and Karbonn for the first devices. Pichai added that Google is working with the carriers to make affordable connectivity packages.
Android One may have been inspired by recent efforts of Motorola’s Moto G for emerging markets, but Pichai called it an effort to reach “the next billion people”—past the one billion Android users already online worldwide. Apple's iPhone 5c and Windows Phone's Asian partners are all pursuing the same large, but very price-sensitive user base.