Google is significantly expanding its Android one affordable-smartphones initiative in Africa, taking the program to Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Egypt, and Morocco. Google is working with smartphone maker Infinix on the expansion, releasing an Android handset called the Hot 2 which went on sale in Nigeria yesterday, with the other countries to follow.
Sold for the equivalent of $88, the device is a fast and pretty powerful smartphone that compares well to the models sold in the West. Alongside its launch, Google is launching a new version of its mobile search engine cutting data usage by as much as 90%, with emerging markets in mind. And in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt it’s launching the offline version of YouTube for smartphones to let users “store many of the videos on YouTube for up to 48 hours, so you can watch them later when your connection may be slow — or non-existent”. Will music videos be among the ‘many’ in that scenario, though?