According to Google enthusiast blog 9to5Google, the company is hard at work testing prototypes for a new handset codenamed the “Pixel 2B”. This particular smartphone will be sporting lower-end internals compared to the regular Pixel 2 and will be priced accordingly for “emerging markets” as well. 9to5Google’s source did not mention any key specifications in the report but estimates that both phones will be launched together, or shortly after one another.
In 2014, Google launched the “Android One” project, aimed at launching entry-level stock Android smartphones in developing countries. A year later, MyPhone and Cherry Mobile came out with Android One devices in the form of the MyPhone Uno and the Cherry Mobile One G1 for the Philippine market.
With the news of a new Pixel-branded phone designed for emerging markets, we might be seeing the resurgence of Google’s Android One project anew. A key difference in this development is that Google will be the one to manufacture the phones, unlike before where third-party makers were involved. We’ll see where Google goes with this as more information trickles down from the rumor grapevine.