• Google Have Now Pushed Android One To Africa

    Google Have Now Pushed Android One To Africa

    google pushes android

    Google is ramping up its

    Android One

    smartphone program with a push into Africa. The first
    Android One smartphone for the region is being made by
    OEM Infinix, and is launching in Nigeria today, with
    Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Morocco getting
    the device “over the next few weeks”.

    The handset, called the Infinix HOT 2 (pictured below),
    runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop) at launch, but Google says it
    will be getting the new Android Marshmallow flavor once
    that’s released. Users will also get free updates via local
    mobile service provider MTN — as Google works to
    simplify (and squeeze) regional data plans to make the device
    more attractive to its target. The device has an RRP of
    N17,500 (~$88).

    Specs wise, there’s a quad-core MediaTek processor with
    1GB of RAM, and models with up to 2GB of memory.
    There’s also support for dual SIM, and a range of colors:
    black, white, red, blue, and gold. Yes, gold. Android One
    is not skimping on the bling.

    As part of the program, Google works to reduce
    smartphone hardware costs by identifying components that
    will be used and pre-qualifying suppliers for the parts. On
    the software side it gives OEMs access to its Play Store
    to help them add locally relevant apps to the devices, as
    well as automating software updates as it does with Nexus

    The wider push here is of course a landgrab by Google for
    the next wave of mobile Internet users — those much
    discussed “next billions”, who may live in areas with patchy
    connectivity or be priced out of unlimited mobile data plans.
    Hence the need to squeeze costs to lower the barrier to
    entry. (Facebook has a similar and parallel push around
    spreading access to connectivity with its Internet.org
    initiative — albeit that’s come under fire for limiting the
    services users can access).
    In a blog post announcing its Android One Africa push,
    Google VP of product management, Caesar
    Sengupta, said:

    Nearly one year ago, Google introduced
    the Android One program and YouTube
    Offline in India. Today, 6 countries in
    Africa — with combined populations of
    379 million people — join the list of
    places where Android One phones are
    sold. We’ve been thrilled by the progress
    and feel humbled by the work that’s left
    to do. But we look forward to continuing
    our work with partners to ensure that
    people have a great way to access the
    Internet, using it in ways that are relevant
    and useful.

    Google launched the Android One affordability push last
    summer , targeting OEMs specifically making phones for
    emerging markets — and targeting the “next five billion ”
    smartphone users in a bid to continue expanding Android’s
    marketshare (which generally hovers around 80 per cent
    marketshare globally).

    The first Android One smartphone launched in India in
    September 2014, with three more Asian markets
    (Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) offering devices by
    December. OEMs making Android One devices there
    include Micromax, Karbonn and Spice.
    For its Africa Android One push, Google says it will also
    be extending YouTube offline to Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana,
    and Egypt “in the coming months”. The feature lets users
    store videos within the YouTube app for up to 48 hours so
    they can watch them later when they don’t have a
    connection, or when the network they can access is too slow
    to stream.

    Google also announced it’s rolling out a streamlined version
    of Google Search, tweaked for a faster experience on low
    RAM phones — such as those with 512MB — claiming
    the feature can reduce data usage on the results page by up
    to 90 per cent, and cutting load times by up to a third.

    Other mobile players chasing emerging markets include
    China’s Android OEM Xiaomi, which does use Google
    services outside China, and is currently a little more
    focused on the mid tier and higher tier
    smartphone segments, although pricing its handsets very

    There’s also the wildcard of Finland’s Jolla , which is now
    fully focused on a licensing business for its alternative mobile
    platform, Sailfish, an OS which is compatible with
    Android apps. This summer the company announced it had
    secured its first licensing deal with Indian OEM Intex.
    The forthcoming Sailfish-powered handset, the Intex Aqua
    Fish, is being priced at less than Rs 10,000 ($150).


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