Micromax to launch first Android Go smartphone this month
Micromax is going to be the first company to launch Android Oreo Go-based smartphone in India.
“The smartphone will be priced under Rs 5,000 and will come with features such as 4G and VoLTE support. It will be launched under our Bharat series, focused on the lower-tier of the market,” a Micromax spokesperson told Hindustan Times.
The company is planning to launch the phone on January 26.
Earlier, FactorDaily reported that other Indian handset companies will follow Micromax soon. The prediction coincides with Google’s statement that Android Oreo (Go Edition) will be available in the market starting early 2018.
Android Go is Google’s latest effort to tap the lower-tier of Indian smartphone market after an unsuccessful run with Android One programme. This time, however, Google is targeting the ultra low-cost smartphone segment – a new category that has seen a big traction since Reliance Jio’s Rs 1,500 smart feature phone, JioPhone.
Rival telecom operators such as Vodafone and Airtel have joined the bandwagon by subsidising the cost of entry-level smartphones, which are on average price around Rs 5,000-Rs 7,000, to bring down to an ‘effective price’ of Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000. Airtel has already launched a slew of ultra low-cost Android phones under its ‘Airtel Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative.
Coming back to Android Oreo (Go Edition), the new iteration of Android has been customised for entry-level smartphones that usually have low processing power and storage. Android Go is based on Android 8.1 Oreo version and is compatible with 512MB-1GB RAM phones.
These phones will “get all the optimizations that come with Android Oreo (Go edition), including a better performing OS with built-in data management features and security benefits. There is also a new set of pre-installed Google apps, including Google Go and the Google Assistant for Android Oreo (Go edition), designed to be lighter and more relevant to the unique needs of the next billion users,” Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users team at Google had said in a blog post last month.
“Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones also come with a version of the Google Play Store that allows people to download any app, while highlighting the apps designed to work best on Go edition devices,” he added.
Google is also building an army of Go versions of its key applications to support the Android Go ecosystem. Last month, it introduced Google Go, a lightweight version of Google Search. It also launched Files Go, a file manager and space management application. The company is also expected to soon launch a Maps Go version of its popular Google Maps application.
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