Global technology giant, Google, has launched its latest smartphone programme, AndroidOne in Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya and Morocco.
AndroidOne is an initiative to make high-quality smartphones available to millions of people in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world.
In Nigeria, Google launched the programme on Tuesday in collaboration with mobile phone manufacturer, Infinix; mobile operator, MTN and online retail store, Jumia.
Speaking at the launch in Lagos, Caesar Sengupta, vice-president product management at Google, said Nigeria is an important country affecting the growth of internet users around the world.
“Today, over three billion people across the world are using the internet to live better, richer lives and create opportunities for themselves and their communities,” he said.
“The driving force behind this growth – particularly in Nigeria and many other African countries – is smartphones.
“In Nigeria, over 70% of online users access the web via their phones. AndroidOne offers high quality mobile devices that are great to use, but that are also affordable.”
The programme was launched with the Infinix HOT 2-X510, a smartphone with lollipop 5.1.1 version, which is the first device to run on AndroidOne in Africa.
Through Google Play, AndroidOne phone users have access to over one million apps with prime Google applications, such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Translate pre-loaded on the phones.
Sengupta also announced that in coming weeks much of YouTube and Google maps will be available offline in Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Morocco.
This feature would allow users from these African countries to store videos and map details in the YouTube app and Google Maps apps when they are on WiFi and use them later when they not online.
Steve Ayorinde, vice president, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Benjamin Jiang, managing director, Infinix Mobility Limited; Jeremy Doutte, chief executive officer, Jumia Nigeria and Michael Ikpoki, general managing director, MTN Nigeria, were among the dignitaries that attended the event.
Nigeria is largest Internet market in Africa and currently 8th largest in the world with over 67 million people online.
The number of online users has grown by over 30 million in the last 5 years.