Samsung trademarked what's believed to be its first Android Go smartphone earlier this month, having protected the name "Galaxy J2 Core" with the Korean Intellectual Property Office last Friday, May 4. The listing that was originally spotted by Dutch tech blog LetsGoDigital revolves around a moniker that's already been mentioned by industry insider Roland Quandt late last month as part of a report claiming the Galaxy J2 Core will run the Go Edition of Android 8.1 Oreo.
Google's Android Go initiative has been gaining traction in recent months, particularly once the latest iteration of Mobile World Congress kicked off in late February. Numerous original equipment manufacturers used the Barcelona, Spain-based trade show as an opportunity to announce their first Android Go products, with Finnish HMD Global receiving significant media attention with the Nokia 1 and its new lineup of Android One handsets. While the Android One initiative is meant to showcase the prowess of a stock variant of Google's mobile platform, Android Go has been envisioned as a streamlined and up-to-date version of the world's most popular operating system. Starting with Android 8.0 Oreo, Google is releasing lightweight alternatives to its new OS builds specifically designed for devices with no more than 1GB of RAM, with the idea being of providing consumers with a smooth experience even in the entry-level segment of the market which contains handsets priced at as little as $30. Besides a lighter OS, Android Go also includes reworked, simplified versions of popular Google apps such as YouTube, Maps, and Gmail.
While every major industry tracker agrees Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer on the planet in terms of both shipments and sales, the South Korean OEM has always avoided fully embracing Google's Android initiatives, having even gone as far as pushing Tizen instead of adopting Android Wear — now Wear OS — in the smartwatch segment. The Seoul-based company also already offers a wide variety of new entry-level offerings, all of which are running its custom implementation of Android advertised as Samsung Experience. It's presently unclear when the Galaxy J2 Core may launch, though the handset is believed to be a direct successor to the Galaxy J2 (2017) which debuted last October.
Samsung has its first Android Go based smartphone coming: the SM-J260G, likely called Samsung Galaxy J2 Core: https://t.co/0KWB0ODoXl
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) April 25, 2018