Jio and Google partner to launch cheapest 5G smartphone in India

Reliance Jio wants to help millions of 2G feature phone users make the shift to entry-level smartphones with the help of Google

Highlights
  • Reliance Jio and Google have partnered to launch an entry-level smartphone in India
  • The affordable 5G phone will be a fraction of the cost of current 5G phones
  • Jio and Google are looking to create an optimised Android platform for affordable smartphones

Reliance Jio has announced its partnership with Google in creating a new “value-engineered” Android-based smartphone operating system. Jio plans to launch an affordable 5G smartphone based on this new and optimised Android platform with the help of Google. The company envisions launching an entry-level Jio 5G smartphone that can be a fraction of the cost of current 5G phones with the help of a value-engineered operating system. There is no word yet on what this new smartphone will look like. Jio says that it aims to help millions of existing 2G feature phone users to make the shift to entry-level smartphones and the company says this will be possible with the help of Google. 

“Google has empowered millions of Indians to access helpful information and, like Jio, is a force for change and innovation. We welcome Google onboard and are excited about our partnership for what it can deliver to Indians, from universalising Internet usage to deepening the new digital economy and providing a prime mover to India’s economic growth. Together, we hope to play a strong facilitative role in the transformative journey of building a new, Digital India,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said.

Jio’s partnership with Google on creating an entry-level smartphone comes as no surprise. Google has been aiming to bring millions of feature phone users in India to transition to smartphones with its Android Go initiative. Android Go, as you may know, is a stripped down version of Android for phones low on RAM and storage. The optimised Android platform that Jio is talking about could be based on the Android Go platforms, but it’s still early in the days to know for sure.

“Reliance Industries, and Jio Platforms in particular, deserve a good deal of credit for India’s digital transformation. The pace and scale of digital transformation in India is hugely inspiring for us and reinforces our view that building products for India first helps us build better products for users everywhere. Google is proud to invest Rs 33,737 crore into Jio. I am excited that our joint collaboration will focus on increasing access for hundreds of millions of Indians who don’t currently own a smartphone while improving the mobile experience for all,” Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said.