Reliance Jio held it’s 44th Annual General Meet today, at which Mukesh Ambani, MD of Reliance Industries, launched a new smartphone for its customers in collaboration with Google, called the JioPhone NEXT. The phone offers an optimised Android experience on entry-level hardware to attract the masses.
Speaking at the Reliance AGM, Ambani said, “India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services… because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable for these users. Last year… Sundar and I had talked about Google and Jio co-developing a next-generation, feature-rich, but extremely affordable smartphone.”
The phone will launch on September 10 on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. However, the price of the phone still hasn’t been revealed. The only thing known about the price is that it is the “most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally”.
The JioPhone NEXT features Google Play Store and Google assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, and language translation. The smartphone runs on Android, specifically designed by Google for Jio. The phone will also receive regular Android updates as well as security patches.
Excited to announce the next steps in our partnership with @RelianceJio to accelerate India’s digitization, starting with a new affordable Jio smartphone with an optimized @Android experience, and a 5G collaboration between Jio & @GoogleCloud.https://t.co/Wi9DExPU6b
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) June 24, 2021
“JioPhone Next is powered by an extremely optimised version of the Android operating system that has been jointly developed by Jio and Google, especially for the Indian market”, said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman Reliance Industries, at the virtual AGM. “This is a testimony to a global technology giant, and a national technology champion, working together to make truly a breakthrough product that can be first introduced in India, and then taken to the rest of the world”.
Apart from the phone, Ambani also said that “Jio is not just working to make India 2G-mukt, but also 5G-yukt”. He noted that the company launched an initial set of integrations between WhatsApp and JioMart on a trial basis in partnership with Facebook. The response from WhatsApp and JioMart customers has been encouraging so far, along with valuable feedback, as per the MD of Reliance Industries.
Talking about Reliance Jio, Ambani says that today, Jio is the world’s 2nd largest mobile data carrier, handling over 630 crores GBs a month. Reliance Jio had a net addition of 37.9 million subscribers during the year. RIL raised $44.4 billion, the largest ever capital raised by any company in a year globally. The company’s consolidated revenue was at ₹540,000 crores, consolidated EBITDA was around ₹98,000 crore, and consumer businesses contributed almost 50% of EBITDA.
“During recent spectrum auctions, we invested ₹57,123 cr in acquiring significant additional spectrum, making Jio the largest operator of 4G spectrum in India. We have operationalized nearly 100% of this additional spectrum”, mentions Mukesh Ambani.
He further iterated that Reliance will put Gujarat and India on the world solar and hydrogen map. All of its products will proudly proclaim ‘Made in India, by India, for India and the world’.
To further strengthen its ecosystem, Ambani said that the company would create two divisions. First, a dedicated Renewable Energy Project Management and Construction Division. Second, a dedicated Renewable Energy Project Finance Division. Reliance will thus create and offer a fully integrated, end-to-end renewables energy eco-system. “Over the next 3 years, we will invest over ₹60,000 crores in these initiatives”, said Ambani.
The Reliance Foundation further launched five Missions to fight COVID – Mission Oxygen, Mission COVID Infra, Mission Anna Seva, Mission Employee Care, and Mission Vaccine Suraksha.