Reliance Jio, which is India’s biggest telecom carrier is all set to launch one of the world’s cheapest Android smartphones in India.
Google’s huge USD 4.5 billion investment in Jio should soon yield fruit in the form of a Rs. 4,000 (~$54) smartphone that will be powered by the Android OS. As per Bloomberg there is a report which states that Jio has been working on prototypes for the Android phone in silence and secret for the past two years.
From what we know, Jio is expected to bundle the low-cost Android powered smartphone with affordable calling and data plans.
Reliance has also reportedly asked local component suppliers to speed up production so that they can make up to 200 million phones within the next two years.
This should go a long way towards fulfilling Reliance’s mission to acquire half a billion mobile subscribers by the end of 2023. This kind of mission is sure to help in boosting the smartphone user base in India which is currently under 50% of the country’s total population.
When Google acquired a 7.7% stake in Jio earlier this year in July 2020, both the giants announced that they would also build a “value-engineered Android-based OS”.
Having read and known about this information, the first thing that comes to mind is Android Go, but the Jio-Google partnership could result in something completely new just for the market and users in India.
As of now, there is no concrete word on when Jio will launch the Rs.4,000 Android smartphone. As per reports, it should shoot past the 2020 Indian festive season that kicks off in November 2020.
This would have been a good opportunity to launch the phone considering how much shopping happens in every household in India.
Nevertheless, the price tag of Rs.4,000 on the Jio powered Android smartphone should be enough to lure anyone even at a later stage.
For your information, Jio’s partnership with Google is still under regulatory review and there will be more details about that soon. Mukesh Ambani has real strong ties with the Indian government, so the process should not take a long time.