During Alphabet’s Q3 earnings call, Sundar Pichai said in the next 3-5 years, the device will have a lot of impact.

Closeup of Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai speaking at an event, background in blue
Atom Tech Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 15:18

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that Jio Phone Next, the phone it is launching in collaboration with Reliance Jio, will be available in the market on Diwali. The announcement was made during Alphabet’s Q3 earnings call, where Pichai said that in the next 3-5 years “the device will have a lot of impact”. 

“We've also made progress with the Made for India affordable smartphone, co-developed with Reliance. JioPhone Next device features premium localised capabilities and is on track to launch in the market by Diwali," Pichai said in his opening remarks. 

Pichai said that he views the JioPhone Next as a version of digital transformation, and the demand the company is seeing is palpable. “I think over the 3-5 year time-frame, it will end up having a lot of impact. But overall, India continues to be an exciting market for us. We see strength across the categories we are involved in. And you'll continue to see us stay focused there," Pichai noted.

Pichai said that while the pandemic has been hard in India, people are looking for access and there has been “a wave” of people who have adopted smartphones. “We see the demand for people looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones,” he said. 

“Part of what excites me about the upcoming partnership with Jio in building a phone is really investing beyond just English and getting languages and the local needs right for people, and doing it in a way that many more people can take advantage of a smartphone,” he added.

The JioPhone Next has features such as Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud and language translation for any on-screen text, a smart camera with India-centric filters and more.

In a statement last month, Jio said, "Both companies have begun testing JioPhone Next with a limited set of users for further refinement and are actively working to make it available more widely in time for the Diwali festive season." It had an original launch date of September 10. This additional time will also help "mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages", the statement further said.

The phone will have voice-first features “that enable people to consume content and navigate the phone in their own language,” the statement said, adding that users will get the latest Android features and security updates.

On Monday, October 25, Jio announced that this phone would run on PragatiOS, which the company said is “powered by Android”, and an operating system that has been built for India. It will have a processor by Qualcomm.

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