Google has partnered with Bharti Airtel to launch low-cost smartphones with Android Oreo Go edition in India. Under the partnership, these entry-level 4G Smartphones will be under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative and Lava Micromax will be the first manufacturers to launch these phones with Android Oreo Go edition starting next month.
Airtel started the ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative back in October last year. The telecom operator has partnered with several handset makers till now to offer 4G smartphones at budget prices with a bundled data plan. Some of the handset makers include Karbonn, Celkon, Intex, itel and recently Motorola and HMD Global as well.
Now, for Android Oreo Go edition phones, Airtel has said that Lava and Micromax would launch the first set of 4G smartphones. These phones will come preloaded with Airtel’s own set of apps that includes MyAirtel, Airtel TV, and Wynk Music. Additionally, the handsets will have Android Go apps like Google Go, Google Maps Go, Google Assistant Go, and Files Go etc.
Commenting on the partnership, Vani Venkatesh, Chief Marketing Officer – Bharti Airtel, said,”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.”
“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 by introducing a range of devices powered by Android Oreo (Go edition),” said Jon Gold, Director of Android Partnerships.
Google had announced Android Oreo Go back in December which is a stripped-down version of its Android operating system. This is specifically optimized for entry-level smartphones with RAM as low as 512 MB. At launch, Google had said that the operating system and pre-installed apps would take up 50% less space on these devices.