Google Android One Lands In Africa - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Devices
11:06 PM
Connect Directly

Google Android One Lands In Africa

Google broadens its low-cost Android One service with the African rollout of its Infinix HOT 2 smartphone.

10 iPhone, Android Apps To Keep You Healthy
10 iPhone, Android Apps To Keep You Healthy
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google is taking Android One, its affordable smartphone program, to a new level with a rollout across select African countries.

Android One will arrive in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco with the launch of the Infinix HOT 2. The service will first be available in Nigerian retail outlets and appear in other countries over the next few weeks.

There are more than 50 million Nigerian people online, wrote Google product management Vice President Caesar Sengupta in a blog post published Aug. 18. Almost all of them (95%) surf the Internet on a mobile device.

[More on Google: Android 6.0 matures with 'Marshmallow']

"However, simply having an Internet connection isn't enough," Sengupta explained. "It's important that people getting started with the Internet have a great, reliable, and relevant experience right away. This can be a challenge in places where local content may be limited, connectivity slow or intermittent, and quality phones costly."

Google is hoping to address this challenge with the Infinix HOT 2, which is the first Android One device built in collaboration with African smartphone manufacturer Infinix.

The HOT 2 will run Android 5.1 Lollipop at first, but Google promises an upgrade to Android Marshmallow when the new OS launches. It packs a quad-core MediaTek processor with 1GB RAM memory, dual-SIM support, and 16GB of storage.

Customers can choose from a color selection of red, black, white, blue and gold, which has 2GB RAM memory. Retail price will start at N17,500 (about $88).

(Image: Google)

(Image: Google)

Google is also extending YouTube offline throughout Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Egypt over the next few months. This is a capability within the YouTube app which lets users store videos for up to 48 hours so they can be viewed at times when connection is slow or absent.

For those who already own smartphones, Google is streamlining its search service for global devices in an effort to speed up the experience on devices with low RAM (512MB). This will reportedly decrease loading time by one-third and cut data use on the results page by up to 90%.

Google first announced Android One at its I/O conference in June 2014 with the goal of broadening Android's global presence. The program, along with YouTube Offline, first started in India.    

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll