Airtel, Google partner with Lava and Micromax to launch Android Go smartphones

Leading Indian telecom operator Airtel has entered into partnership with Google. As part of the association, the companies will be launching low-cost smartphones powered by Android Oreo (Go edition) to the Indian market. After this partnership, India will become one of the first countries to commercially roll-out smartphones running on Android Oreo (Go edition).
Entry level 4G smartphones under Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ program will be shipped with Android Oreo (Go edition) as standard OS starting March, 2018. Lava and Micromax will introduce the first set of 4G smartphones powered by Android Oreo (Go edition). These smartphones with basic specs will also come preloaded with compatible apps, including MyAirtel App, Airtel TV and Wynk Music, to ensure a seamless online/app experience for users.

Speaking about the partnership, Vani Venkatesh, CMO – 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. 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.”

Android Oreo (Go edition) is a configuration of the Android operating system specifically optimized for devices with 1GB of RAM or less. Android Oreo (Go edition) comes with a new range of apps designed to run faster while using less data. Devices running Android Oreo (Go edition) will also come with twice as much storage out of the box.

‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ program was launched by Airtel in October 2017 with the objective of spreading the reach of 4G smartphones in the country. Airtel has partnered with multiple mobile handset manufacturers to build an ‘open ecosystem’ of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to market at budget friendly prices.

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