INTRO: Reliance Jio is currently looking to launch new ‘affordable’ Android smartphones before the top of this year. That’s consistent with a replacement report from Business Standard, which claims that the launch might happen by December 2020 or in early 2021. The report further claims that the corporate is hoping to roll out a whopping 100 million units of its affordable Android devices, which are also said to ship with bundled data packs.
Currently, there is no further information on the issue at this point in time, but such a development has been coming for a while now. At its 43rd AGM in July, the corporate announced a tie-up with Google to figure on “affordable 5G smartphones” for India. Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Jio’s parent company, Reliance Industries, even claimed that the telco can design entry-level 5G smartphones “at a fraction of their current cost”.
Towards that end, Google and Jio are now partnering to create an Android-based smartphone OS. “Through this partnership, we are quite confident that we can accelerate the national mission of putting a smart device in the hands of every Indian ”, Ambani said at the meeting last July. He also claimed that the tie-up will help the country ditch it’s legacy 2G networks and transition many 2G feature phone users to entry-level 4G/ 5G handsets.
Meanwhile, the upcoming devices won’t be the primary time Jio will launch Android handsets. The company, back in 2015-16, launched a series of entry-level smartphones under the ‘Lyf’ branding. Reportedly manufactured by ZTE in China, the phones did sell well initially, but the brand has seen no new releases in years. It will be now quite interesting to see if Jio will revive the prevailing brand or it will come up with an all-new branding for its upcoming smartphones.