Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio launched the JioPhone in July last year. The JioPhone is a feature phone which is 4G VoLTE enabled. With the JioPhone, Reliance Jio aims to bring 50 crore feature phone users on to the Internet bandwagon. The JioPhone is powered by KaiOS, however, back in October, we came across a report which stated that Jio was planning to launch Android-based JioPhone soon. Well now, the telco has teamed up with chip maker MediaTek to make Android Oreo (Go Edition) based smartphones.
MediaTek at an event in Indian capital New Delhi has announced its partnership with Reliance Jio. By teaming up with MediaTek, Reliance Jio wants to make Android Oreo (Go Edition) based smartphone that is affordable.
While details of this upcoming Android Oreo (Go Edition) based smartphone from Jio weren’t revealed, this smartphone will indeed be powered by MediaTek’s MT6739 SoC which is optimized to work well with Android Oreo (Go Edition).
Moreover, it’s also needless to say that this Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone from Jio will come with 512 MB to 1 GB RAM as Android Oreo (Go Edition) is developed especially for entry-level smartphones that come with as low as 512 MB of RAM.
Furthermore, launching an Android-based smartphone will also help Jio get an edge over incumbent telecom operators in India who have been countering the JioPhone by teaming up with smartphone vendors to launch affordable 4G smartphones that have way better specifications that the JioPhone, and more importantly, run a wider gamut of apps like WhatsApp which aren’t supported on JioPhone.
There’s no word yet on when the Android Oreo (Go Edition) based smartphone from JioPhone will hit the Indian market, however, MediaTek has said that the first Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphones powered by MediaTek’s chip will launch in the first quarter, hence, we might see Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone from Jio coming to market during the same time period.
“India is growth intensive, a market of immense opportunities with its own set of aspirations and needs. We continue to intensify our technology collaboration in India, even beyond smartphones, and recognise its importance in the global marketplace” said T L Lee, General Manager, Wireless Communication, MediaTek.
As far as the pricing of this Android Go (Oreo Edition) based smartphone from Jio is concerned, people familiar with the matter have said that this smartphone could turn out to be more affordable than the JioPhone.
“India’s older operators have been tying up with smartphone makers to bring prices down of 4G devices to under Rs 1,500 through cash backs. But the new Jio smartphone can go far under that price. Since Jio believes in subsidizing smartphones for mass uptake, they are most likely to take the same approach for their Android Go smartphone” people familiar with the matter told ET.