Google, Reliance Jio reportedly working on an affordable 4G smartphone which is likely to be launched before the end of this year.
Google and Reliance Jio have been secretly working on an affordable smartphone, exclusively to work on Jio’s network. The phone is expected to be launched before the end of this year, according to industry sources. The phone is also expected to have Default JioApps- JioTV, JioMusic, and JioCinema.
Google branding with Reliance Jio helps to sell cheaper 4G handsets and reach a larger market. It also ensured that Jio apps are pre-installed into the Android platform, improving the performance significantly. The news comes out of few months after Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s India visit where he mentioned that $30 (approximately Rs 2,000) is the minimum price point for smartphones in India.
“Such a smartphone will help Reliance Jio to raise data adoption — helping the Jio apps better over its network. It will also enhance the overall quality of service delivered on the Jio network. For Google, this would mean to access to a large number of new subscribers who are connecting to the internet for the first time. It also helps the company assess its low-cost handset strategy,” said Sanchit Gogia, CEO at Greyhound Research.
While RJio and Google declined to comment on the development, industry sources said that Google, Reliance Jio are also working together even on developing software for Reliance Jio’s Smart TV services, which will be launched next year.
This will be the Google’s second attempt at launching affordable smartphones in India after Android One project. The Android One project was launched in India in September 2014, where it worked with other companies such as Spice, Karbonn, and Micromax priced at just Rs6,500.
In Android One project Google managed the design, development, marketing, and support of these devices while the manufacturing part was carried out by the partnering original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
In AndroidOne Google made a lot of emphasis on regional languages as the mobile allowed users to not only type in Hindi but also provided the voice assistant in Hindi.
Google’s Android One project was not successful and the company seems to be taking another chance by working with Reliance Jio.