Reliance Jio is looking to launch new ‘affordable’ Android smartphones before the end of this year. That’s according to a new report from Business Standard, which claims that the launch might happen by December 2020 or in early 2021. The report further claims that the company is hoping to roll out a whopping 100 million units of its affordable Android devices, which are said to ship with bundled data packs.
There’s apparently 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 company announced a tie-up with Google to work 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 partnering to build an Android-based smartphone operating system. “Though this partnership, we’re confident that we can accelerate the national mission of putting a smart device in the hands of every India”, Ambani said at the meeting last July. He also claimed that the tie-up will help the country ditch its legacy 2G networks and transition millions of 2G feature phone users to entry-level 4G/ 5G handsets.
Meanwhile, the upcoming devices will not be the first 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 interesting to see if Jio will revive the existing brand or come up with an all-new branding for its upcoming smartphones.