Reliance-Google announce world's most affordable 4G smartphone, JioPhone Next
Reliance Industries and Google have announced JioPhone Next, an India-first 4G smartphone that promises to be the world's most affordable such device.
This comes a year after Google invested in Jio Platforms, with the aim of bridging India's digital divide and bringing millions of first-time users to the internet.
JioPhone Next, a built-for-India smartphone, will go on sale on September 10. The smartphone will support the entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio, as well as all Play Store apps. It also comes with a voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with AR filters, and more.
Reliance Industries Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said,
"An ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India '2G-mukt'. JioPhone Next is powered by an extremely optimised version of the Android Operating System, that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google, especially for the Indian market. This is a testimony to a global technology giant and a national technology champion working jointly to make a breakthrough product, that can be first introduced in India and then taken to the rest of the world."
Sundar Pichai appeared at the RIL AGM through a video feed
JioPhone Next has an addressable market of nearly 300 million mobile users in India who have to pay for "exorbitant 2G services" because they can't afford a smartphone.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who appeared in the AGM through a video feed, said:
"Our vision is to bring affordable access to information for Indians in their own language, to build new products and services for India’s unique needs, and to empower businesses with technology. Our teams have optimised a version of our Android OS, especially for this device. It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates. 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."
"I'm also proud to announce that we are taking our collaboration further… with a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio," he added.
As part of this collaboration, Reliance will be shifting its core retail businesses to Google Cloud's infrastructure, taking advantage of Google's AI/ML, ecommerce, and demand forecasting offerings.
"Harnessing the reliability and performance of Google Cloud will enable these businesses to scale up as needed to respond to customer demand. Empowering businesses as they embark on their digital transformation is a key part of our mission in India," Pichai stated.