Google Unveils Android Kit Kat, New Nexus 5 Smartphone

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) unveiled the latest version of its Android operating system dubbed as Kit Kat along with its new flagship smartphone Nexus 5 manufactured by LG Corp (KRX:003550) as the company steps up its competition in the mobile market particularly in the emerging markets.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome, and Apps at Google said Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” is intended to work well with both high-end and low-end phones as the company aims to expand its reach to the next billion users around the globe. Last month, Pichai announced that the mobile activations powered by the Android operating system reached a billion milestone.

He emphasized that Android is experiencing “stunning growth” in different countries including Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Russia. According to him, the growth rate of the operating system in these countries tripled its performance in the United States. Google perceives emerging markets as a big growth opportunity for Android.

Pichai added Android Kit Kit uses less memory enabling app developers to create and run their services across all devices.  According to him, manufacturers will be encourage  to install the Android Kit Kat to their smartphones because of its lower memory usage. Pichai said Google’s Chrome browser will only use less than 16% memory on Kit Kat compared with the Jelly Bean.

“To make KitKat work on an entry-level smartphone… That makes a big difference. On the journey to reach the next billion people we need to make sure they are all on the same operating system.” Pichai said. Google aims to run only one version of Android operating system across all smartphones by 2014.

Meanwhile, Google also introduced the new Nexus 5 smartphone powered by Android Kit Kat. According to the search engine giant, the device will be available in black and white. The smartphone will be rolled out first in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, South Korea, and the United States. Consumers will be able to purchase the device on Google Play, (NASDAQ:AMZN), Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Radio Shack (NYSE:RSH).

Pichai described the Nexus 5 smartphone as a “cutting-edge device at an incredible price.” The cost of the device is $349 for the 16GB version and $399 for the 32GB version.

The Nexus 5 sports a 5-inch HD display and its camera has an optical stabilization. It also comes with a software that automatically correct balance lighting conditions.  It is integrated with the latest Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).