Mobiles & Tablets

Reliance JioPhone Next set for Diwali launch: Google's Sundar Pichai

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on October 27, 2021

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet   -  REUTERS

‘Affordable smartphone made for India’ is jointly developed by Reliance Jio and Google

JioPhone Next is set to launch in India by Diwali, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed.

“We’ve also made progress with the ‘made for India’ affordable smartphone, co-developed with Reliance. The JioPhone Next device features premium localised capabilities and is on track to launch in the market by Diwali,” Pichai said during the company’s Q3 2021 earnings call on October 26.

JioPhone Next to run on indigenously developed operating system Pragati OS

JioPhone Next has been jointly developed by Reliance Jio and the global internet major Google. The features and specifications of the phone were outlined in a recently launched teaser video. The phone will run on a new operating system called Pragati OS, powered by Android, and built specifically for India. The device is expected to be launched next week, ahead of Diwali. It was set for launch earlier this year but was delayed by the global shortage in chipsets.

Google introduces a range of new features for Android

The phone will be powered by a Qualcomm processor. Other features include support for Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud and language translation for on-screen text, and a smart camera with India-centric filters, among others.

The phone’s stated aim is to enable digital transformation in India and aid the transition from feature phones to smartphones.

“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 is really investing beyond just English and getting languages and getting the local needs right for people and doing it in a way that many more people can take advantage of a smartphone,” Pichai said during the earnings call.

“I view it as laying the foundation. It’s a version of digital transformation and it’s palpable, the demand we see. And I think, over a three- to five-year time frame, it will end up having a lot of impact. But, overall, India, just like the 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,” he said.

Published on October 27, 2021

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