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Google Targets Countries Like Zim With New Software For Cheaper Smartphones

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With sales slowing down in major markets (i.e Europe, USA, Australia etc) the focus is now shifting from flashy devices to developing markets and the entry-level phones that are more accessible to people in these markets. Android Oreo(Go Edition) might be the solution to your data usage and storage woes.

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Right now about half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are online and when new users first log in to the internet they are using the cheapest general purpose device available: a smartphone. When most people buy smartphones in Zimbabwe (and apparently other 3rd world countries) the question they usually ask is if the phone can access Whatsapp. As long as it does there’s no need to spend a fortune on acquiring a device with flashy specs.

So it’s great news that Google is finally making a version of Android that is targeted at these low-end devices. Android Oreo(Go Edition) is optimised to run on cheaper devices without straining data or memory. Google claims Go devices use 50% less space than Android devices that ship without the special edition software.

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The fact the software also consumes less data than we are accustomed to makes these devices a perfect fit for those who don’t want to go through the trouble of managing their data usage and tracking which apps are burning a hole in their pockets.

I think it’s safe to say we have all gone through the experience of our airtime being consumed by data-hungry apps operating in the background. With software such as Android Go, it seems users will go through less of these struggles and once you consider how much data costs in Zimbabwe I’m sure users will welcome these little devices with open arms.

Android Go we’ll come with some specific applications that save space and are ‘lighter’ than their standard companions. At Techzim we tested YouTube Go and Google Maps Go and we were impressed by the features on offer. There will also be a Google Assistant Go and Gmail Go which offer similar optimizations.

The pioneers…

During the ongoing Mobile World Congress the first Android Go devices were announced and they will be all sold for less than $100. The Nokia 1 and ZTE Tempo Go are priced at $85 and $80 respectively. Both of these brands are not new to the Zim market so I’m sure in the next few months they will be widely available in Zim. They’ll probably cost between $100-$130 which I think is a good price for trusted brands that will be offering up to date software and the benefits that come with Android Oreo(Go Edition).

Nokia 1
ZTE Tempo Go


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3 thoughts on “Google Targets Countries Like Zim With New Software For Cheaper Smartphones

  1. Loved the article, curious on whether a piece on hardware assembly of affordable phones can be done. Especially for the ambitious kind.

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