Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that the JioPhone Next smartphone will be released in India by Diwali. The smartphone was co-developed by Reliance and runs on Pragati OS, a new Android-based operating system with Indian-specific features. During the company’s most recent earnings call, Pichai stated that the phone is more than just English and appeals to Indians. JioPhone Next, he believes, will lead the migration from feature phones to smartphones for a substantial portion of the population.
The JioPhone Next, according to Pichai, is considered as a basis for India’s digital revolution. This localized, feature-rich smartphone with an aggressive price tag, according to the CEO, will have a significant impact over the next three to five years.
“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 advantage of a smartphone” says the company.
“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,” it said.
A teaser trailer for the new JioPhone Next was recently released. The JioPhone Next is expected to run on an improved Android-based Pragati OS with automated software updates. The phone will be powered by a Qualcomm processor. Voice help, Read Aloud, Translate, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and preloaded Google and Jio apps are among the other features. Portrait mode, night mode, and preloaded bespoke India-specific augmented reality filters will all be available on the rear camera.
The JioPhone Next’s price and availability have yet to be revealed. However, according to a recent leak, the forthcoming Jio smartphone could cost as little as Rs. 3,499, or less than $50.