Google's Motorola is launching a cheap smartphone targeted at customers in emerging markets such as South America and Asia, as well as cash-strapped Americans.
Motorola launched the $179 (without contract) 8GB Moto G Wednesday which, despite the low cost, provides pretty good specs, according to USA Today.
"This device is likely intended for emerging markets where users want low-cost smartphones, but I think it could also be successful in major markets like the U.S. for those same cost-conscious-consumers," technology industry analyst Jeff Kagan said.
The Moto G has a 4.5-inch, high-definition display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, front- and rear-facing cameras as well as 50 GB of storage on Google Drive. All this for likely a fraction of the $179 price tag for a two-year wireless contract. The new Apple iPhone 5C, Apple's cheaper phone, is $500 without a contract. Not really much of a comparison on price -- so what else does it have to make people want it? It will also be upgraded to Android KitKat in 2014, but will be delivered running Jellybean.
KitKat was specially engineered for cheaper phones, so the Android platform would perform as well on high-end as well as low-end smartphones. Now those in the developing world can purchase new low-end, updated and less-fragmented Android phones.
The Moto G goes on sales in Brazil and Europe this week. In the next few weeks it will drop in other parts of South America, Canada and Asia. The devices are expected to launch in the United States, India and the Middle East in January.