INTRO: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio took the country’s telecom space by storm when it launched a few years ago. Now, it seems the company is planning on repeating history, except this time with entry level smartphones.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Reliance is in talks with domestic smartphone manufacturer’s to make a version of the company’s famous Jio Phone that can run Android. The company has reportedly asked local suppliers to ramp up production capacity so they can make as many as 200 million smartphones over the next two years.
Bloomberg’s report is based on information from people familiar with the matter who said that the company is planning on launching a smartphone that will run Android, and will be priced roughly at ₹4,000. The company will be marketing the phone with its own low-cost wireless plans.
Reliance’s efforts come at a time when the Indian government is pushing for domestic manufacturing and production of smartphones among other electronic items. Many smartphone makers have expanded their manufacturing capacity in the country, including the likes of Apple, which is also launching its official online store in the country tomorrow.
“We are of course trying to build our domestic companies. We have a sweet spot in entry level phones,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman of the India Cellular & Electronic Association. “The world has realized that India is a great place to do business and a great place to do manufacturing also.”
Also noteworthy is Reliance’s recent partnership with Google where the companies announced they will work together on ‘affordable 5G smartphones’. That partnership will see Google invest $4.5 billion in Jio, and co-operate on technology initiatives. However, this partnership is still under regulatory review, which means Reliance is currently working on this smartphone plan alone.
This isn’t the first we’re hearing of Reliance’s plans to make affordable Android smartphones, an earlier report suggested the company is hoping to start selling these phones by December 2020.