Airtel and Google have partnered to bring in low-cost 4G smartphones powered by Android Go, running the operating system’s latest version Android Oreo, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Android Go is Google’s platform specifically designed for entry-level smartphones, with RAM of 1GB or less. With this, India will become one of the first countries to commercially roll-out smartphones running on Android Oreo.
“Android Oreo (Go edition) comes with a new range of apps designed to run faster while using less data,” the release said adding that devices running Android Oreo (Go edition) will also come with twice as much storage, out of the box.
Further, the company said that entry level 4G smartphones under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ program will be shipped with Android Oreo (Go edition) as standard OS starting from March 2018. Interestingly, two leading low-cost Indian smartphone providers Lava and Micromax will introduce the first set of 4G smartphones powered by Android Oreo (Go edition). The release says that these smartphones with basic specs will also come pre-loaded with compatible apps, including MyAirtel App, Airtel TV and Wynk Music, to ensure a seamless online/app experience for users.
Noting that the partnership is a major milestone for Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative, Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel said that Android Go will provide a massive boost to Airtel’s efforts to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and potentially enable millions of feature phone users and unconnected people to get online. “We are excited to collaborate with Google and our device partners to work towards this shared vision of bringing smartphones within the reach of more people,” Vani Venkatesh added.
Said Jon Gold, Director of Android Partnerships said that Android’s mission has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone. “We’re excited to see Airtel take a leading role in that effort through introducing a range of devices powered by Android Oreo (Go edition),” Gold added.