According to a report by The Hindu Business Line, Jio has been secretly working with Google on an affordable smartphone, which the company plans to launch by the end of the year. The smartphone is question will work exclusively on Jio’s network and will come with Jio applications like JioTV, JioMusic, JioCinema and JioMags built-in. This comes hot on the heels of reports that Jio could launch a feature phone with 4G LTE built-in at less that Rs 1,500.
While Reliance has already forayed into the Android smartphone market with its LYF range of 4G enabled smartphones, a partnership with Google could help prove more successful and help Jio reach a larger audience.
This is not the first time Google has attempted to launch affordable smartphones with stock Android built-in in India. A few years ago, Google had started the Android One project, under which manufacturers could build budget handsets with stock Android built-in, which would get assured and timely updates.
Google had partnered with Indian companies like Micromax, Karbonn and Spice for manufacturing the smartphones. However, the Android One project was not successful and didn’t quite take off the way the company had envisioned.
The budget smartphone segment is extremely important to Google. The companies’ CEO Sunder Pichai, during his India visit, had said that 30 dollars (Rs 2,000) is the idyllic price for smartphones in the country.
The combination of optimised software and Jio’s fast and cheap 4G services could make a Google branded handset running on Jio’s network the ultimate budgete smartphone.
The Google-Jio partnership might not just be limited to smartphones. There have also been reports of Google developing software for Jio’s upcoming smart TV’s, which are expected to launch sometime this year.
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