Itel partners with Google; to launch Android Oreo (Go Edition) phones

Two days ago, Itel India announced its partnership with Google to launch phones running on Android Oreo (Go Edition) later this year. This is quite a strategic move for Itel if you’ve been following this brand like I have. To understand why, you first need to understand what Android Oreo (Go Edition) is.

What is Android Oreo (Go Edition)?

Android Oreo (Go Edition) is an optimized Android Oreo (Android version 8) targeted at entry-level smartphones. Entry-level means phones which have relatively low-end or less powerful specifications (e.g RAM, ROM, Processor etc).

Android Oreo (Go Edition) = Latest Android Features & Security + Affordable Smartphone

Go edition features optimized versions of some Google apps you may know and some new apps:

  • Gmail Go
  • Youtube Go
  • Maps Go
  • Assistant Go
  • Files Go
  • Gboard
  • Google Play Protect

Useful features in Android Oreo (Go Edition)

Some features that make the Go Edition worth trying include:

Uses less storage space and lets you easily manage space

The storage space running out error is one of the most frustrating and persistent encounters on an Itel phone. One of the biggest consumers of space on an Itel phone are Bloatware. Bloatware are unwanted apps which ship with your phone. What app(s) can be classified as Bloatware differs with individuals since I might not like to use one app while you can’t do without it.¬†Android Oreo (Go Edition) not only ships with smaller sized apps but also fewer apps so you have more space to yourself. Files Go helps you easily find and manage your files. It also suggests files to delete in order to free up space.

Inbuilt Data Manager, Gboard and Google Pay Protect

Android Oreo (Go Edition) ships with an in-built data manager so you can save your data (MB) by controlling which apps use data and which shouldn’t. Google Chrome also features an inbuilt data saver. Gboard is a keyboard with auto-correct, voice typing and multilingual support. Google Play Protect keeps you protected by scanning installed apps even when you’re offline, scans consume minimal data. It also has an in-built Find My Phone feature which helps you find or wipe your phone in case it gets lost or stolen.

Why has Itel decided to launch Android Oreo (Go Edition) powered phones next?

Itel gained popularity by releasing pocket-friendly entry-level smartphones phones. Their phones ran mostly on Spreadtrum chips till they recently migrated to Mediatek chips . Itel phones were also notorious for a 1GB RAM ceiling but that changed with the Itel Wish A41 Plus , Itel S41 and Itel S11 Plus.

I believe Itel released these mid-range phones because they’d started getting fans who could afford to pay more and were clamoring for better specs on their Itel phones. It was good for Itel to listen but here lies the bend. Itel’s primary base is entry-level users and it has clearly won that segment compared to its peers like Tecno and Infinix. In the mid-range, it has to contend with Tecno and Infinix (I know they’re all owned by Transsion Holdings, just comparing strategies).

Itel’s primary markets are Asia and Africa where cheaper phones are in greater demand so it makes sense to keep a firm grip on this market segment (entry level phones) to grow its brand. Now, entry-level smartphones are cheaper because they have less powerful specs but are limited in Android features they can comfortably run, this makes them less attractive.

Enter Android Oreo (Go Edition)

With Android Oreo (Go Edition), Itel can retain its grip on the entry-level market segment and make it even more attractive. Cost of producing (entry level phones) remains almost the same and the product becomes more attractive with Android 8.

I’ll be watching closely for the first Itel phone to feature Android Oreo (Go Edition) but I suspect it’ll only be released in the Asian (India) market; Itel Nigeria is pretty much behind.

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