Motorola is working on a new smartphone that isn't the Moto X, and isn't another in the Droid RAZR series. It's internally codenamed the DVX and it is purposefully a low-end device. Motorola's intent with this device is guided by Google on this one. They intend to use this device to conquer the emerging markets to make sure folks who don't have smartphones can afford to get one.
The device will launch this year, and a you can see what is implied from the Tweet above, it looks like Motorola is focusing this device with a "bottom-up" strategy instead of a "top-down" approach like Samsung and Apple. Reportedly, Googorola plans to sell this device at or near cost to make it incredibly affordable. Their intent is to reach those 5.5 Billion folks who aren't connected through the wonders of wireless internet technology.
Taken on the surface this seems like an odd move, but if you really think hard about it is both a sharp move and is quite "Googley." Ultimately, this is simply "enlightened self-interest" on the part of Google, and clearly expresses both their quality of wanting to improve the lives of people in the world while expanding their business at the same time. If they can reach just 1/5th of the folks who don't have internet connected communication devices, they will be equipping over 1 Billion people with the ability to connect and learn in ways they hadn't before. At the same time, this will drive Google's business model because more folks on the web just means more ad revenue for Google.
For fans of Motorola phones, our initial "knee-jerk" reaction might be to dismiss this DVX device and become disappointed with Motorola, but that would be a narrow perspective. More than likely, the DVX device will not even be launched in the top tier markets like the United States and Europe. This leaves Motorola to continue focusing on mid to high-end devices in those parts of the globe in order to appease the techno-junkies. Here's a quote with a few more details,
What do you think about this potential move from Motorola?With that effort in mind, Google has done a lot to try to bring more and more people to the web, while also making its services more feature phone friendly. Google has already invested in the company O3b (the Other 3 billion), which plans to bring affordable high-speed Internet to emerging markets via satellites that it will be launching this year. And recently, we heard about the Google X project called Loon, which is aiming to bring WiFi connectivity to rural areas via balloons. There has also been Google's Fiber initiative to bring more populated areas to much faster internet access.
The reasoning follows that once the infrastructure is there for mobile connectivity, the key is ultra-low cost devices; and, that's where the Motorola DVX would come in. The idea could be that Motorola would look to sell the device at very low profit margins or even at cost, much like the Nexus line of devices. This way, Motorola would be able to undercut the competition and get a jumpstart on the approximately 4 billion people around the world who don't yet have a smartphone, because the buy-in cost is too high.