Micromax, Intex, Karbonn and Lava have reportedly tied up with Google to launch super-affordable 4G-capable smartphones that run Android Oreo (Go edition).
FactorDaily reports that Micromax will be leading the line by launching the first Android Oreo Go device this month for a price-tag of just Rs 2,000. The site adds that Micromax will unveil the device around January 26 to coincide with the Republic Day.
When contacted, Micromax declined to comment officially, but sources close to the company told Beebom it will indeed launch Android Go phones in the next 1-2 months. More details are expected on this in the next few weeks, though the company did not confirm the confirm the reported launch date of January 26.
We also contacted Intex, one of the manufacturers mentioned in the report. An Intex spokesperson told Beebom, “We are not planning to launch any phones with Android Oreo Go this month. We are likely to release some phones with Oreo around April, but not right now.”
Late in 2017, we got word of Nokia 1, which was expected to be the first ever Android Oreo (Go Edition) phone. And it’s been nearly 9 months since Google unveiled Android Go, so it’s not unlikely that the first devices running the lightweight OS about to be launched. After all, with the new approach to Android in Go Edition phones, engineers at OEMs and Google clearly needed time to optimize the OS for low-end phones.
Google announced Android Go in May 2017 at the company’s annual developer conference, Google I/O. It is an optimized version of Android that has been designed specifically for devices with ultra low-end hardware (between 512 MB and 1 GB of RAM). It also comes with Go-branded Google apps ( Google Go, YouTube Go, Files Go, Google Maps Go, Gmail Go), a streamlined Google Play Store and a special version of Google Assistant.
Google has slotted Go under the Next Billion Users project, which is fast-tracking Google’s efforts to bring fast high-quality internet connectivity, lightweight apps and a trimmed-down OS to underserved markets. With the rumoured price tags, Google is clearly going after the latest sensation in the Indian mobile market – the Reliance’s JioPhone, which has reinforced India’s appetite for cheap devices with high-speed mobile internet.