2013 was the year of Motorola. When most Android manufacturers were competing on specifications (processor, memory, storage, screen size, etc), Motorola decided to take a different angle and built a well designed, customizable, reasonably priced android device. This device, the MotoX, came with an almost stock Android OS with some small but powerful usability add ons. I'm an iPhone user and have been from the very beginning but the MotoX was the device that almost made me switch.
Motorola then came out with their lower cost MotoG with sold for as little as $179 without a contract. Motorola is truly on the right track.
Denis Woodside, the Motorola CEO that made all of this possible, recently gave Trusted Reviews (link) an interview. Denis said Motorola understands that even the $179 MotoG is expensive for many emerging markets. An interesting quote:
“In much of the world $179 is a lot of money so there’s a big market at a price point of less than $179. We’re going to look at that and just delivering on that value promise is super important. I mean why can’t these devices be $50? There’s no reason that can’t happen so we’re going to push that.”
In addition to low cost phones, he confirmed that Motorola is looking to improve its device customization options. Today ,via MotoMaker, you can choose colours but he predicts you will be able to choose screen size and functionality in the next year or 2. You want a 5" phone with always listening and a motion co-processor, you should be able to order that.
A $179 unlocked phone would have sounded crazy 2 years ago but Motorola showed that it was possible to sell a decent desirable phone at that price. They showed that customization was possible so I can only assume they will find a way to deliver a $50 phone and extreme customization on the higher end.