Mumbai: Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thursday said Jio and Google have jointly developed a power-packed and affordable smartphone 'JioPhone Next', which will be available in the market from September 10.
Ambani promised that JioPhone Next will be the most affordable smartphone not just in India but globally.
Speaking at RIL's annual general meeting, Ambani asserted that an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India '2G-mukt' (free of 2G). The country still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services since most basic 4G smartphone remain unaffordable for users, he added.
"I am pleased to announced that Google and Jio teams have jointly developed a truly breakthrough smartphone that we are calling JioPhone Next.
"JioPhone Next is powered by an optimised version of Andriod operating system that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google especially for the Indian market," he said.
JioPhone Next will be available from September 10, and packs a punch with cutting-edge features including voice assistant, language translation, automatic read-aloud of screen text, and smart camera with augmented reality filters, among others.
"As you have come to expect from Jio, it is my promise that JioPhone Next will be, by far, the most affordable smartphone not just in India but globally," Ambani said.
Last year, Google had announced an investment of Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.7 per cent stake in Reliance Industries' technology venture Jio Platforms. The tech giant had teamed up on technology initiatives, including development of affordable smartphones for the price-sensitive, tech-savvy Indian market.
The fully-featured smartphone that is set to hit the market in coming months, supports the entire gamut of applications from both Google and Jio, as well as Andriod PlayStore through which users will have access to the full universe of Andriod apps.
"This is a testimony to a global technology giant and a national technology champion working jointly to make a break-through product... that can be first introduced in India and then taken to the rest of the world," Ambani said.
Jio has democratised digital connectivity in India, offering the highest quality, most affordable 4G broadband services in the world.
"Sundar (Google CEO Sundar Pichai) and I had talked about Google and Jio co-developing a next-generation, feature-rich, but extremely affordable smartphone aimed at providing first-time internet access for 2G users," Ambani said while making the JioPhone Next announcement on Thursday.
Pichai said an optimised version of its Android OS has been developed especially for this device.
"It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates.
"It's built for India and it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users, who will experience the internet for the first time. And, we can't wait to show you the device later this year," he said.
The India-born executive added that the two companies have also expanded their collaboration with a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio.
"It'll help more than a billion Indians connect to a faster and better internet, support businesses in their digital transformation and help Jio build new services in sectors like health, education and more, laying a foundation for the next phase of India's digitisation," he said.
As part of this collaboration, Reliance will shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud's infrastructure, enabling the Indian conglomerate to take advantage of Google's AI and machine learning, e-commerce 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. I'm excited for the innovations this partnership will help unleash," Pichai added.