Not content disrupting the mobile network space in India, Reliance Jio is reportedly working with Google to launch an affordable smartphone by the end of 2017. The device is being designed so that it works exclusively on Jio’s high speed 4G network. Google branding will apparently lend the device a more premium image, while it will also ensure that Jio apps are better integrated into the Android platform, which will in turn improve the multimedia performance significantly.
Talking to the Hindu Business Line which has carried this report, Sanchit Gogia, CEO at Greyhound Research said, “Such a smartphone will help Reliance Jio increase data adoption — helping it render movies and music better over its network. It will also improve the overall quality of service delivered on the Jio network. For Google, this would mean access to a large number of new users who would be connecting to the internet for the first time. It may also help the company assess its low-cost handset strategy.”
This will be Google’s second attempt at launching affordable smartphones in India after the not-so-successful Android One project. The search technology major had launched the Andorid One project in India in September 2014, where it worked closely with brands such as Micromax, Karbonn and Spice to try and deliver a seamless Android experience at an entry-level cost. However, the entry of cheaper Chinese competition played spoil sport, which caused the aforementioned local brands to be blown away into the background.