Google has tied up with Indian phone vendors to introduce cheap smartphones based on its Android Oreo Go Edition. Some of them are Micromax, Intex, Lava, Karbonn, among others.
Micromax is expected to release its phone based on Android Go at around ₹2000 ($31) later in January with other vendors to follow in the weeks after. The average price of a 4G smartphone today is around $100 (nearly ₹6,400).
According to the information, Micromax launch “might be on the Republic Day or around it. Phones from other Indian handset makers will follow. Google said, “We expect Android Oreo (Go edition) devices to launch in early 2018”.
Android Oreo is the eighth version of the mobile phone OS. The Go variant is focused at phones with memory less than 1 GB and can be configured for use with a handful of Go versions of Google’s main Google apps, maps, YouTube, email, assistant and other apps. In presenting a lightweight option to phone manufactures. Google allows them to cut down on not just memory but also processor capacity. This will help them to come up with economical smartphones.
The Google 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”.
Ray of hope for the Indian vendors
The Oreo Go OS is being first adopted by Indian handset manufacturers who have targeted the feature phone market. Google has decided to put the entire catalog of Google Play on Android Oreo (Go edition) devices, but apps that are optimised for entry-level devices will be given extra visibility in the Play Store app.
Android Oreo Go Affordability
Experts mentioned that without Oreo Go it was unmanageable to lower the price of the phone without dishonoring the quality of the device. In India six out ten devices sold below Rs, 5,000 and five out of 10 are in the sub- Rs 2,000.
The search giant went to great lengths to ensure Android runs well on such phones. They will have 1GB of RAM (or even half). Along with 8GB of storage which is dedicated slimmed-down versions of Google’s core apps make this possible. Chip makers Qualcomm and MediaTek are helping optimize their chips for the best Go performance too.