Google has reportedly partnered with Indian companies like Micromax, Intex, Karbonn and others to release affordable Android Oreo Go edition smartphones in India. These smartphones may launch by the end of January, starting at a price of Rs. 2000 ($31).
According to a report by Factor Daily, we could see the first smartphone with Android Oreo (Go edition) from Micromax around Republic Day, with other manufacturers expected to launch their phones in the subsequent weeks. The report further states that the prices may vary from phone to phone, with prices expected to be between $30-$100, which falls between Rs. 2000 and Rs. 7000, approximately.
What is Android Go?
Android Oreo (Go Edition) is an optimised version of Android that was built keeping developing countries in mind. Earlier last year, Google had announced Android Oreo (Go edition) optimised for smartphones with less than 1GB memory. Further, Go Edition also has toned down versions of several Google apps, including Google, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and more. These apps are also optimised for consuming less memory, storage and even processor capacity, which should allow smartphone makers to bring down phone costs further.
Micromax and Google had earlier partnered to launch Android One smartphones as well, so Micromax being the first to launch an Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphone should not come as a surprise.
An anonymous Google official told Factor Daily, “We expect Android Oreo (Go edition) devices to launch in early 2018,”. Nokia is also expected to announced an Android Oreo (Go Edition) powered laptop called the Nokia 1.
Adding further, the official said,
“As more users come online for the first time, the number of entry-level Android devices available has been rising quickly, and is expected to make up a much larger percentage of all smartphone sales going forward. Given the acceleration, we thought it is time to take our investment to the next level.”
A win-win for consumers
The race to launch ultra-affordable phones was started by Reliance Jio last year – the launch of the JioPhone pushed incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea to partner with Indian OEMs to announce their own affordable offerings. The announcement of Android Oreo (Go edition) comes at an opportune time, allowing consumers the opportunity to choose from phones better optimised for this price segment.