One of the announcements during Google’s I/O opening keynote on Wednesday was Android Go, a new initiative to solve the problem of Android performance on devices with limited resources. Android Go takes it a step further and not only aims to solve problems around the price of hardware, but also the problem of limited data caps and lingual flexibility for those who don’t have English as a primary language.
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Looking at all of this, it would be easy to assume that Go is solely designed for emerging markets, but this isn’t entirely the case. Rather than focus on a particular market, Android Go is being billed as a solution to provide a fluid experience for devices that cost less than $100 and while these devices are exceptionally popular in developing countries, Google also revealed the second largest market for sub-$100 entry level devices is in fact, the USA.
At a follow up session, Patrik Tortensson – the technical lead at Google focused on Android Go – announced to a congregation of developers that the US was the second largest market for sub-$100, thanks to the huge demand for prepaid devices. He continued:
Therefore, we’re announcing that, starting with OMR1 all devices shipping with 1GB of RAM or less will get an Android Go configuration and going forward, every Android release will have a Go configuration so this is a sustained effort that will develop over time.
How big is the market? According to Google, a third of all global Android shipments in 2017 will be in the sub-$100 market. Considering that there are hundreds of millions of activations of Android devices each year – with 2 billion active devices in the wild right now – there’s a lot of scope for Android Go. We’re expecting to hear more and have a preview of Android Go towards the end of the year, and the first devices with Go configuration will launch in 2018.
Would you buy an Android Go device? Are you a low-cost user who values the benefits? Let us know in the comments below!