Google Aims To Equip The Next Billion People With Low Cost Android One Smartphone

Now that even toddlers are walking around texting each other these days, the focus is starting to change towards developing regions, and Android is front in line. We saw it recently with Microsoft's Nokia X2 -- Redmond's first Android handset, which will probably never get released in the U.S. -- and now Google has announced an initiative called Android One that will focus on affordable handsets for the masses.

Just as Microsoft said it designed the budget-friendly Nokia X2 for the "next billion" smartphone owners, the Android One initiative aims to do the same thing.

"All these amazing multi-screen experiences are built around a smartphone and basic internet connectivity. However, there are many people—billions of people, in fact—who still don’t have access to a smartphone. We want to change that; so today we announced an important initiative called Android One," Google stated in a blog post.

Android Figures
Image Source: Flickr (fsse8info)

It's not a coincidence that Microsoft and Google are speaking the same language. Google said it's working with partners to address the mobile computing needs of those in emerging markets, and it wouldn't surprise us if Google had some input in the Nokia X2's design.

Either way, Google intends for its hardware partners to launch an initial range of sub-$100 Android One smartphones starting in India this fall, with more countries to follow. And while there's only so much a person can expect from a $100 handset, Google promises that these devices will be "high quality" and come with "reasonable data plans."