The Android-powered handset will be built with a basic set of features including FM radio, have a screen slightly smaller than five inches (12.7 centimeters) and be priced at less than
"We are going to be launching it around the world, but will launch in
He added that
The Android One initiative sets out to work with smartphone makers and others in the "ecosystem" to pool resources and standardize hardware platforms to provide "turnkey solutions" for making handsets, according to Pichai.
"There are many people -- billions of people, in fact -- who still don't have access to a smartphone," he said.
"We want to change that."
Low-cost phones powered by Android have proven popular in developing markets, but have been vexed by "fragmentation" because handset makers customize the software to suit different hardware or set themselves apart from rivals.
The variations result in popular third-party applications typically not working across the array of Android devices, frustrating users who want the latest fun, hip or helpful mobile mini-program.
Android One software for low-priced smartphones in emerging countries could bring some consistency across devices, according to
"It is going to be a long, tough road to have an impact there; it is going to take years to bring the next two to three billion people onto the Internet."
Handsets will be made by
"We've long wondered what potential could be unleashed if people everywhere had access to the latest technology and the world's information," Pichai said. "It's time to find out."
Having more people tune into websites or services mean expanded opportunities to make money from online advertising or providing tools that connect shops with customers.
Developing countries have become prime targets for smartphone makers, and Android software made available free to handset makers has proven to be popular with budget-conscious buyers.
The news came a day after
"They are to some degree becoming an ISP (Internet service provider) because they have to," Blau said of
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