Micromax bringing Rs. 2,000 Android-Go smartphone on Republic Day
Nearly a month after Google launched the lightweight Android Go variant, reports have surfaced that homegrown device-maker Micromax will be the first one to launch an Android Go-based smartphone in the country.
It's expected to be launched for Rs. 2,000. However, Micromax spokesperson confirmed it would be priced under Rs. 5,000.
It is likely to be launched on Republic Day this year.
Micromax to launch India's first Android Go smartphone
What do we know about the upcoming Micromax phone?
While no details about the Micromax Android Go smartphone have been revealed yet, it is expected to run Android Oreo (Go Edition) and have a Qualcomm or MediaTek processor, 512MB/1GB RAM, and storage space of 8GB or less.
Price of the first Android Go smartphone in India
Micromax's Android Go smartphone is likely to be priced around Rs. 2,000 and attract a lot of first-time smartphone buyers.
Micromax spokesperson confirmed it would be a sub-Rs. 5000 smartphone. Last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the price of entry-level smartphones should be brought down to around $30 (over Rs. 1,900), which is the right price point for a market like India.
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"Bharat" series smartphone with 4G and VoLTE support
A Micromax spokesperson stated: "The (Android Go) smartphone will be priced under Rs. 5,000 and will come with features such as 4G and VoLTE support. It will be launched under our Bharat series, focused on the lower-tier of the market."
Google's building army smaller "Go" versions of apps
Google said Android Go comprises three components: Performance, security benefits, and storage improvements; Lighter Google Apps, including Google Search, YouTube, Assistant, Maps, Gmail, etc, and Google Play Store.
The Go version of Play Store highlights the apps designed for Go devices.
Google already introduced Google Go for search and Files Go for files and space management. It's soon expected to launch Maps Go.
Doubled the storage on Go-based phones
Director of Google's Android Product Management, Sagar Kamdar, stated: "Entry-level devices...have very little storage space. So, we've optimized Android Oreo (Go edition) and enhanced our preinstalled Google apps to take up 50% less space. The net result is...we've doubled the amount of available storage."
Other Indian companies to soon follow suit
Other Indian smartphone companies like Intex, Lava, and Karbonn are expected to follow Micromax and launch Android Go-based devices in the country soon.
Reports say all their devices would be affordable and priced in the same range (below Rs. 5,000 like Micromax's smartphone).
These reports coincide with Google's statement that smartphones based on Android Go would be available in India starting early 2018.
Ultra low-cost smartphones in India
With Android Go, Google is targeting the "ultra-low-cost" phone segment, which has been gaining popularity after the launch of Rs. 1,500 JioPhone smart feature phone. Jio's telecom rivals like Airtel and Vodafone also launched low-cost entry-level Android smartphones for around Rs. 2,000-3,000.