Reliance Jio is working with Google on a low-cost 5G smartphone, said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) at the company’s 45th annual general meeting (AGM).
“We are working with Google to develop ultra-affordable 5G smartphones for India. We will also leverage the advanced capabilities of Google Cloud to offer Jio's Private 5G stack and other 5G-enabled solutions to both domestic and global users at scale,” Ambani said.
Google became an investor in RIL’s Jio Platforms in 2020 after it bought 7.73% stakes in the company for Rs. 33,737 crores. The two companies have partnered with each other since then to develop a low-cost 4G smartphone named Jio Phone Next. It was launched last year during Diwali at Rs. 6,499. It was also offered at Rs. 1,999 under a scheme where the balance amount could be paid in EMIs over a period of two years.
Jio Phone Next used a custom version of Android, called Pragati OS, which Jio had developed with Google. The OS offered multiple regional language-centric features for Indian users. It was powered by a basic Qualcomm processor and had pre-loaded Jio apps.
According to data shared by Canalys, Jio shipped close to 2 million units of Jio Phone Next in the December quarter of 2021.
Jio’s 5G smartphone is also expected to use the Pragati OS along with Qualcomm’s entry-level 5G processor.
5G smartphones accounted for 33% of all smartphone shipments in the June quarter of 2022, according to an August report by CyberMedia Research (CMR). Samsung was the leading 5G vendor in India with 28% of the market, while Vivo shipped 15% of 5G devices.