While the price phone was not disclosed, Ambani said it will be “by far” among the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally
Reliance Jio has announced its ‘ultra-affordable’ 4G smartphone made in partnership with Google called JioPhone Next which will be made available from September 10 with an aim to offer the country the highest quality, most affordable internet services.
Adding that the newly-announced smartphone will make India ‘2G-free’, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said, “India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for these users.”
Teams from both Google and Jio have developed the phone, said Ambani at the company’s 44th annual general meeting (AGM), held virtually. The new phone will come with in-built voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, and smart camera with augmented reality filters. It will give access to all of Jio’s and Google’s apps and the Play Store, Ambani said.
While the price of the ultra-affordable phone was not disclosed, Ambani said it will be “by far” among the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google and its parent Alphabet, said the US tech giant has optimised a version of its Android OS especially for the new device.
“It is built for India… And it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the very first time,” Pichai said at the virtual event.
Pichai also announced the collaboration between Google Cloud and Jio for the new 5G partnership. Reliance will shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud’s infrastructure, Pichai said.
This comes as a major challenge to rival telcos Airtel and VodafoneIdea. This new announcement has also certainly been a blow to domestic smartphone makers who were hoping to venture into the low to mid-segment smartphone market in the country, where Chinese manufacturers already hold the lion’s share.