At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Google SVP Sundar Pichai announced that Android is now being used by more than a billion people every day. But in order to gain customers in the emerging market, Google has a new initiative: Android One. This program will be centered around affordable hardware with essential features, but it will also have an exciting software component.
In short, Android One is Nexus for emerging markets. The reference designs allow for incredibly cheap hardware with software that's semi-standardized. And that's important, because the updates will be coming straight from Google, in the same way that the company currently delivers new versions of Android for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices. These phones will be running "real" stock Android, with no notable software differences aside from the limitations of budget hardware.
Google plans on launching the One program in India with three manufacturers (Spice, Miromax, and Karbonn) this fall, with at least one phone model shown off in the video. The example device uses dual SIM cards, an SD card slot, a 4.5" screen, and an FM radio, with a retail, un-subsidized price of under $100. Presumably the Android One program will expand to other territories later.
Check out our Google I/O 2014 liveblog for the latest information.