10 September 2021
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has announced JioPhone Next as his next affordable phone offering at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). It is Jio Platforms' first budget Android smartphone that has been developed in close collaboration with Google.
JioPhone Next features, specifications, and pricing details are currently unknown. Ambani did reveal that the phone will become available for purchase starting September 10th. It will first be sold exclusively in India but will eventually expand to other markets around the world. The smartphone is aimed at buyers who are on a really tight budget (around $100 or so). It hopes to give them an opportunity to experience the smartphone world as well as faster internet connectivity.
Ambani said that JioPhone Next is a fully-featured smartphone that will run the stock Android and offer Google Play Store access. The operating system is said to be "extremely optimized" that should help deliver smoother performance. It will come pre-installed with Jio's suite of applications that are spread across different categories. There will be features like voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with AR filters, and much more.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said:
"I’m excited that today, we can announce the next steps in this vision, starting with a new, affordable Jio smartphone, created with Google. Our teams have optimized a version of our Android OS especially for this device. It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates. It is built for India and it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the very first time. And we can’t wait to show you the device later this year."