Sundar Pichai sees JioPhone Next as crucial to Google’s India business

Sundar Pichai sees JioPhone Next as crucial to Google’s India business

Bengaluru: Alphabet Inc. sees demand in India coming from people looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones, chief executive Sundar Pichai said during an earnings call with analysts.

That, when the JioPhone Next — a 4G smartphone jointly developed by

Jio and Google — is likely to be launched by Diwali this year.

Pichai said the partnership with Reliance Jio is exciting because they are investing beyond English and getting local languages to users, so that more people can take advantage of a smartphone. “I view it as laying the foundation. It’s a version of digital transformation and palpable, the demand we see. And I think over a three- to five-year time frame, it will end up having a lot of impact. But overall, India, just like Asia Pacific, continues to be an exciting market for us.”

The JioPhone Next will be powered by Pragati OS, which is based on the Android OS.

The made-for-masses smartphone will be assembled at Reliance Jio’s Neolync facility in Tirupati and Sriperumbudur. It is expected to be priced around Rs 3,499.

Google tallied its highest sales growth in more than a decade and nearly doubled its profit in the third quarter, as smaller businesses poured money into digital ads aimed at customers whose purchases have shifted online. Alphabet said revenue rose 41% to $65.12 billion, the highest in 14 years. It posted a profit of $21.03 billion, nearly three times what it reported before the pandemic.


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