Airtel, Google partner for low-cost Android Go smartphones

Team Udayavani, Feb 27, 2018, 4:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Telecom major Bharti Airtel today said it has partnered Google to bring low-cost Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones to the Indian market.

Google had, in December last year, unveiled the Android Oreo Go edition for smartphones with 1GB RAM or less.

These low-cost smartphones, which come with a new range of apps designed to run faster while using less data, are expected to play an important role in further expanding internet adoption.

As part of the collaboration, entry-level 4G smartphones under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ programme will be shipped with Android Oreo (Go edition) as standard operating system starting March this year, Airtel said in a statement.

Handset makers Lava and Micromax have already announced they will launch 4G smartphones powered by Android Oreo (Go edition).

These smartphones with basic specifications will also come pre-loaded with compatible apps, including MyAirtel App, Airtel TV and Wynk Music, the statement added.

Devices running Android Oreo (Go edition) will also come with twice as much storage out of the box.

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, said Bharti Airtel Chief Marketing Officer Vani Venkatesh .

“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,” Venkatesh added.

Under its ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ programme launched in October last year, Airtel has partnered multiple handset makers to bring in affordable 4G smartphones with cash back offers and bundled plans.

Lava today announced its Android Oreo (Go edition)-powered smartphone, Z50, that will be available at over one lakh retail stores by mid-March. It, however, did not reveal the pricing of the device.

The Z50 features a 4.5-inch display, 1.1 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal space, and 5MP rear and front camera with flash.

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