Android One announced by Google for smartphone uptake in less developed countries

Google has unveiled its new Android One initiative, aiming to bring smartphones to less developed countries.

Google will qualify vendors so OEMs can build handsets more easily. This will mean quality handsets that are essentially Google endorsed.

Software on Android One will be the same as stock Android on Nexus phones. This will mean carriers can add locally relevant apps. It also means the latest software updates over the air directly from Google.

All updates will come automatically just like Nexus and Google Play Edition phones.

The first phones will come with specs including dual SIM, SD card reader, a 4.5-inch screen and FM radio, all for less than $100.

Android One will launch with Karbon, Cromax and Spice in India initially, but will roll out further once it catches on.

The plan will be welcomed by those looking to make it easier to get access to smartphones and follows the lead of the likes of Motorola with the Moto G and E, and the Nokia X.