NEW DELHI :
Jio Phone Next, the entry-level Android smartphone by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, is going to launch in India by Diwali, confirmed Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google.
“We’ve also made progress with the made for India affordable smartphone co-developed with Reliance. The JioPhone Next device features premium localized capabilities and is on track to launch in-market by Diwali,” Pichai said during the third quarter earnings call with investors.
The smartphone was earlier expected to launch on 10 September, but this was delayed due to the chip shortage that has disrupted the global supply of electronics devices.
Aimed at first-time smartphone buyers migrating from feature phones, Jio Phone Next is expected to be priced at under ₹5,000. The smartphone will run on a custom version of Android called Pragati OS that Reliance Jio has developed in collaboration with Google.
Reliance Jio’s plan to create an affordable smartphone dates back to July 2020 when the company announced a massive investment of ₹33,737 crore by Google in Jio Platforms for a 7.73% stake.
In a video released this week, Reliance Jio said the Pragati OS platform will have a language translation feature with support for 10 Indian languages and a “read aloud” function that will make the smartphone more accessible to users. The smartphone will be powered by a Qualcomm processor and will provide access to Jio apps.
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