Android Go is an initiative from Google to bring a tailored distribution of the latest Android version on low-end devices. The search engine giant has begun this program to release Android Go phones in emerging markets. According to Factor Daily, Google has struck a deal with some of Indian smartphone brands such as Micromax, Intex, Lava, Karbonn and others to release Android Go (Android Oreo edition) phones worth around Rs. 2,000 (~$30) in India starting from this month.
Android Oreo is the most recent version of Google’s operating system for smartphone. The Android Go version of Android Oreo is expected to run on phones with less than 1 GB of RAM. The Android Go phones will come loaded with some Go (lightweight) versions of its apps such as Google Apps, Google Play Store, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Google Assistant and more.
An unnamed official from Google has claimed that Android Go devices will launch in early 2018. It is speculated that Micromax could become the first brand to launch an Android Go phone in India. It is expected to unveil its Android Go smartphone at some point around the Republic Day (Jan. 26) of the country. Other Indian brands are expected to release their Android Go phones in the weeks later. It is appears that these phones will be enabled with 4G LTE. Since the rumored Nokia 1 is expected to arrive as an Android Go phone, it is likely to cost around Rs. 2,000 (~$30) in India.
In the recent past, the popularity of Chinese smartphone vendors has increased significantly in India. Xiaomi has recently dethroned Samsung to gain the number one spot in the Indian market. Other brands like OPPO and Vivo are also immensely popular in India. Two years ago, Indian smartphone makers accounted 50 percent of the market share in India. According to a recent IDC survey, the market share of Indian smartphone manufacturers is 15 percent.
When Google CEO Sundar Pichai had come to India in 2017, he had said that $30 phone is the best price point for smartphones in India. The Android Go will certainly allow Indian smartphone vendors to increase their market share in the country.