Reliance Jio is said to launch a low-cost Android smartphone this year, in partnership with Google. A report by The Economic Times claims that Qualcomm could play a key role in the launch of this low-cost Android smartphone in India.
ET quoted Rajen Vagadia, president, Qualcomm India who told the website that Qualcomm will continue its legacy of collaborating and supporting Reliance Jio in bringing new devices and offerings across price tiers.
The move will likely target close to 300 million feature phone users to help them upgrade to a smartphone. It is expected that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400-series chipsets could power the Jio-Google affordable Android smartphones, though there is no confirmation as of now.
The leading telecom player believes that more users in India will be able to experience smartphones if they become more affordable. “There are many feature phone users who are itching to upgrade to a conventional smartphone if only it was somehow more affordable,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, RIL.
Qualcomm to support Reliance Jio-Google’s low-end Android smartphone
“Qualcomm played a critical role in the massification of Jio’s 4G VoLTE feature phone, and having had a partnership with Jio, I think we will continue that legacy of collaborating and supporting them in bringing new devices and offerings, across price tiers that they would wish to drive,” Vagadia told ET.
A previous report by Business Standard revealed that Jio is expected to make 10 crore units of its low-end Android smartphone. Further, the phone will be offered with bundled data plans, similar to the way JioPhone 4G feature is sold with bundled data plans.
Jio has partnered with Google to develop a new OS, and the companies will work together to make entry-level 4G as well as 5G smartphones. It was reported that the smartphone could launch by December last year, which clearly did not happen. The new expected timeline for the launch of the smartphone is in the first quarter of this year.
Of course, pricing will be a crucial selling factor. Given the smartphone aims at offering quality products at a lower price, it could compete with Chinese brands like Redmi and Realme, which have built a strong foothold in the budget smartphone market, displacing the local brands.