Jio Phones to launch smartphones at cost around Rs. 4,000

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 9/22/2020 8:55:44 PM



India’s most valuable company is in talks with domestic assemblers to make a version of its Jio Phone that would run on Android, Bloomberg reports.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has asked local suppliers to ramp up production capacity in India so they can make as many as 200 million smartphones over the next two years, according to people familiar with the matter, a potentially enormous boost for the country's technology ambitions and a warning shot to rivals such as Xiaomi.
India's most valuable company is in talks with domestic assemblers to make a version of its Jio Phone that would run on Google's Android and cost about Rs. 4,000 (roughly $54), said the people, asking not to be identified since the plans are private. The inexpensive phones will be marketed with low-cost wireless plans from Reliance Jio, the parent company's carrier, they said.
Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani is aiming to remake the country's smartphone industry much like he did in wireless services, where his aggressive prices and simple plans quickly made him the dominant force. The billionaire is also aligning himself with the Indian government's plans to build more domestic manufacturing, a possible boost for local assemblers like Dixon Technologies India, Lava International and Karbonn Mobiles.
“We are of course trying to build our domestic companies. We have a sweet spot in entry level phones,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the India Cellular & Electronic Association, during an interview on Bloomberg Television. “The world has realized that India is a great place to do business and a great place to do manufacturing also.”
Ambani has drawn more than $20 billion in investments from US giants like Facebook for Jio Platforms, whose subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm is placing the order. It's worked with assemblers on prototypes for at least two years in secret and can bring a phone rapidly to market, though it's likely to miss the November Diwali shopping season, the people said.
If Reliance succeeds in popularising the new gadget, it could lift the prospects for Jio Platforms, accelerating Ambani's efforts to build an empire spanning e-commerce, social media and games. Many of Jio's nearly 400 million users use no-frills second-generation devices, paying $2 monthly for voice and data -- a large potential market for the new device. It could eventually erode the market share of Chinese phonemakers such as Xiaomi.

 

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