'JioPhone Next device features premium localized capabilities and is on track to launch in the market by Diwali,' Pichai said
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Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday confirmed the launch of JioPhone Next by Diwali during the earnings call of Alphabet. “We've also made progress with the Made for India affordable smartphone, co-developed with Reliance. JioPhone Next device features premium localized capabilities and is on track to launch in the market by Diwali," Pichai said.
In India, the pandemic has been hard. But through it all, the people are looking for access and there's definitely been a wave of people who have adopted smartphones, and there is still -- we see the demand for people looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones.
And so part of what excites me about the upcoming partnership with Jio in building a phone really investing beyond just English and getting languages and getting the local right for people and doing it in a way that many more people can take advantages of a smartphone.
So I view it as laying the foundation. It's a version of digital transformation and palpable, the demand we see. And I think over a 3- to 5-year time frame, it will end up having a lot of impact.
But overall, India, just like Asia Pacific continues to be an exciting market for us. We see strength across the categories we are involved in. And so you'll continue to see us stay focused there.
About JioPhone Next
JioPhone Next will have the first operating system -- Pragati OS -- jointly developed by Jio and Google, customised for Indian users, the telco said in a video released on Monday.
Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani at the group's 44th annual general meeting had asserted that an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India '2G-mukt' (free of 2G).
He had said India still has nearly 30 crore mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services since most basic 4G smartphones remain unaffordable.
Jio was the first company that launched 4G mobile phones in India free for consumers, where they were required to pay a refundable deposit of ₹1,500 for a JioPhone, built like an advanced feature phone.
JioPhone Next will come with a touch screen, and the device is built on Qualcomm chipsets.
The smartphones that use Qualcomm chipsets are priced on the higher side compared to those using competing chipsets with a similar level of computing power but Ambani had promised that "JioPhone Next will be by far the most affordable smartphone not just in India but globally".
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