At an event in India this week, Google officially launched Android Go. Android Go is a smaller and more lightweight version of the Android OS that's designed to be more efficient on less powerful hardware, and following this, both Qualcomm and MediaTek have announced plans to support the platform.
On the Qualcomm side of things, we'll soon see both low and mid-tier Snapdragon processors made available to OEMs that are working on devices powered by Android Go. Per Vice President of Product Management, Nancy Fares:
We are excited to implement Android Oreo (Go edition) within the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform family as it will enable consumers around the world to experience a more robust operating system for lower cost smartphones. Android Oreo (Go edition) delivers an optimized Android user experience key for emerging regions where lower bill of materials costs are especially attractive, as well as in established regions for pre-paid and lifeline uses.
As for MediaTek, the company's MT6739, MT6737, and MT6580 processors now all support hardware running Android Go. The MT6739 and MT6737 SoCs will be used for 4G devices, whereas the MT6580 will be used for 3G ones.
Commenting on this announcement, MediaTek's General Manager of Wireless Communication, TL Lee, said:
Today's announcement builds upon our existing work with Google, including our recent collaboration on Google's GMS Express to speed up the certification process. With Android Oreo (Go edition), we are partnering with Google to tackle the performance challenges of lower memory phones, improving the user experience of entry level smartphones for consumers in key markets across India, the Middle East & Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.
Both Qualcomm and MediaTek are expected to have their processors in Android Go hardware in early 2018.