Google has started to ramp up its affordable smartphone program Android One with a big push into Africa. The first smartphone with Android One for the area will be manufactured by OEM Infinix and will launch today in Nigeria, with Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Egypt receiving the device during the next couple of weeks.
The new mobile handset, Infinix HOT 2 runs on the Lollipop Android 5.1, but Google has said it will receive a new Marshmallow flavor when it is released.
Users can receive free updates through local provider MTN, due to Google working to simplify regional plans for data to make its device more attractive to its final target.
The phone has a Media Taek quad-core processor with RAM of 1GB and models that have memory of as much as 2GB. There also is support for the dual SIM with a host of different colors including black, white, blue, red and gold.
Google, as part of its program, works to lower the hardware costs of the smartphone by pinpointing components that it uses and pre-qualifies its suppliers for those parts.
As far as software is considered, it gives the OEMs PlayStore access to aid them in adding apps that are locally relevant to their devices along with automating updates of software as is done by Google with its Nexus devices.
The broader push is to grab a share of the next wave of user of mobile Internet – those much talked about next billions that might live in places that have patchy connectivity or are priced out of the data plans that have unlimited data.
Hence, a need to keep costs lower not to create a barrier for them to enter.
A similar initiative is being carried out by Facebook as it spreads the access to connectivity with Internet.org.
Google announced its push of Android One Africa through a blog post by Caesar Sengupta a product management VP at Google.
Google launched this initiative last summer, with a target of OEMS making phones for the emerging markets as well as targeting the famous next five billion users of smartphones in an attempt to continue growing market share of Android.