Micromax is preparing to release its first smartphone running Android Oreo (Go Edition) and will commercialize it in its home country in the coming weeks as the Bharat Go, the company said Tuesday. The handset is set to be officially launched near the end of January and is hence likely to start retailing early next month. While the Gurugram-based original equipment manufacturer didn't provide any concrete details on the device, the Bharat Go is widely expected to be the first in a series of ultra-affordable smartphones targeted at India. According to recent reports, Google has been aggressively pushing for such accessible offerings to be commercialized in order to take advantage of the rapidly growing market in the South Asian country and additionally strengthen its mobile ecosystem.
The Bharat Go is thus likely to ship with a price tag of around $30, or Rs. 1,899, and will be followed by at least a handful of similar entry-level devices catering to first-time smartphone owners. The new development is in line with previous reports that the Android Go platform is set to continue expanding in India around the Republic Day, i.e. January 26th. The name of the Micromax-made device is expected to be stylized as the "BHARAT GO," whereas the phone itself is unlikely to be the last low-end handset released by the OEM in the first quarter of the year.
Originally announced last spring, Android Go wasn't commercialized until the launch of the first stable Android 8.0 Oreo build in late summer. The solution is meant to ensure a consistent mobile software experience on extremely basic hardware that would otherwise struggle to run any contemporary version of Google's ubiquitous operating system. Android Oreo (Go Edition) is specifically targeting devices with no more than 1GB of RAM and comes with an optimized suite of lightweight apps meant to access services like Gmail and YouTube. The program isn't related to the Android One platform which isn't aimed at any particular hardware category and only aims to promote a vanilla Android experience in select markets. Google's interest in India is still growing simultaneously with the country's smartphone adoption rates which recently turned it into the world's second largest market for contemporary handsets, trailing only behind China, according to most industry trackers.