Reliance Jio, Google allegedly working on a secret 4G Android smartphone
Reliance Jio is reportedly working with Google to develop a brand-new affordable smartphone that will work exclusively with Mukesh Ambani-owned 4G network. The device is expected to be launched by the end of the year.
This move would mark Google’s second attempt at launching affordable smartphones in the country, after the failed Android One project, which was introduced in September 2014. During this time, the company worked closely with brands such as Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice. According to a report by The Hindu Business Line, industry sources said that the two have been working together even on developing software for Reliance Jio’s smart TV services, which will be launched later this year.
Google branding will also help boost Jio’s plans to sell cheaper 4G smartphones, and reach a larger market. The company would gain access to a large number of new users who would be connecting to the internet for the first time. Currently, the telecom operator has hit a milestone of 100 million subscribers. Reportedly, it will also ensure that Jio apps are more tightly integrated into the Android platform, improving the performance significantly.
Citing sources, the report added that Google working with Jio is reattempting Android One, albeit with just one player. “Android One had too many OEM partners, with each phone from every brand looking exactly the same, leaving no distinction for the vendor. Moreover, at the same time, Chinese players like Xiaomi launched their phones at a similar price with a lot more features, essentially killing the idea of Android One completely,” said Jayanth Kolla, founder and partner at Convergence Catalyst.
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