Google CEO Sundar Pichai has confirmed that the JioPhone Next smartphone is on track to launch in India by Diwali. The smartphone has been co-developed by Reliance and runs on Pragati OS — a new Android-based software that includes optimisations for the Indian audience. Pichai during the company's latest earnings call said that the phone is beyond just English and caters to the people of India. He feels that JioPhone Next will spearhead the shift from feature phones to smartphones for a large population.
Pichai explained to investors that the JioPhone Next is seen as a foundation for digital transformation in India. The CEO added that over the next three to five years, this localised, feature-rich smartphone with an aggressive price tag will have a lot of impact.
“We see a demand for people looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones. We are building a phone that is 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 advantages of a smartphone,” the executive explained during the earnings call. “Overall, India, just like Asia Pacific, continues to be an exciting market for us. We see strength across categories we are involved in. And so, you'll continue to see us stay focussed there.”
The new JioPhone Next was detailed in a teaser video recently. JioPhone Next is teased to run on an optimised Android-based Pragati OS and get automatic software upgrades. . The phone is set to be powered by a Qualcomm chipset. Other features include voice assistance, Read Aloud, Translate, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and preloaded Google and Jio apps. Rear camera features will include portrait mode, night mode, and preloaded custom, India-augmented reality filters.
Price and availability of the JioPhone Next are yet to be announced. However, a previous leak suggests that the upcoming Jio smartphone may cost Rs. 3,499, or under $50.