Android One Marks Google’s Drive To Enable Sub-$100 Smartphones To The Next 5 Billion Users

While Google has grown into a multifaceted company with many areas of focus, connecting people remains at its core. Without people connected to the Internet, people can't connect to Google's services. And without that, there's no Google. In a bid to assist the next billion in getting connected, Google debuted Android One at its I/O convention earlier in the year. Today, at an event in India, more details were revealed about what could be the company's most powerful initiative yet to bring legions of new users into the connection age.

The Android One project is being spearheaded by Android and Chrome & Apps SVP Sundar Pichai. In a quote, he says: "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. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people."

India is a natural launching ground for the project. With hundreds of millions of potential customers that are tech-savvy and hungry for affordable devices, Google has aimed at India to see how Android One will fare. Karbonn, Micromax and Spice are Indian partners launching Android One handsets as early as today, with the least expensive being around $105. The allure of these phones goes beyond the price, though, as each is loaded with a pure version of Android that'll receive updates just as flagship handsets do out of the Play Store in the U.S.

MediaTek will be providing the processors for the initial Android One phones, whle Acer, Asus, HTC, Lenovo, and others are planning to join in on the fun. Once India has its turn, South Asia, Indonesia, and Pakistan (amongst other nations) will see Android One handsets find their way in. These phones may not shatter any benchmark records, but they could quietly connect millions of new people to the Web that will end up being beneficial to the Internet economy as a whole.