Airtel, Google Android Go 4G smartphones coming soon; Affordable JioPhone under threat
In a bid to launch low-cost 4G smartphone powered by Android Oreo Go edition in India, Google partners with Bharti Airtel . According to the deal, all the entry level 4G smartphones under Airtel's 'Mera Pehla Smartphone' programme will be shipped with Android Oreo Go edition as the standard operating system starting next month.
Airtel partnered with several handset makers to launch bundled 4G smartphones at budget-friendly prices through 'Mera Pehla Smartphone' initiative, which was launched in October last year. Samsung, Karbonn, Celkon, Intex, Lava, Micromax, itel Motorola and HMD Global are some of the handset partners.
According to ETtech report, Airtel stated that Lava and Micromax will launch the first set of 4G smartphones powered by Android Oreo Go edition and will come preloaded with its own set of apps that include MyAirtel App, Airtel TV, and Wynk Music.
"This partnership is a major milestone for the ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative. Android Go will provide a massive boost to our efforts to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and potentially enable hundreds of millions of feature phone users and unconnected people to get online," Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer – Bharti Airtel told ETtech.
“Android’s mission has always been to bring the power of computing to everyone. We’re excited to see Airtel taking a lead role in that effort by introducing a range of devices powered by Android Oreo (Go edition),” added Jon Gold, Director of Android Partnerships.
Google had debuted Android Oreo Go, a stripped-down version of its Android operating system specifically optimized for entry-level smartphones with memory of as low as 512 MB last December.