Google Unveils Nexus 5 Smartphone, New Android Version

Google Inc. (GOOG) unveiled a new smartphone using the latest Android operating system designed for a more global user base, seeking to curtail fragmentation caused by different versions of the software.

The Nexus 5, made by LG Electronics Inc. (066570), will be available for $349 to $399, depending on memory, Sundar Pichai, senior vice president, said at a press event in San Francisco today. The new KitKat version of Android features better search, improved security and more immersive displays, he said. The mobile operating system is also easier to use on lower-end phones that are popular in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Brazil.

Google, operator of the world’s most-popular search engine, is stepping up efforts to promote Android-enabled devices around the world as people turn to smartphones and tablets to check e-mail, browse the Web and find entertainment. The new version includes improvements to Google Now, which anticipates information that users may want or need, and has improvements in voice search that make it more interactive and accurate.

“For 2014, our goal is how do we reach the next billion people,” Pichai said. “That’s a major theme of KitKat.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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