Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday said that they and Reliance Jio are working closely on the building an affordable smartphone. He also said that work is underway on the same.
Google and Reliance Jio Working on 5G Phone
Last year, Google had picked up a 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms for Rs. 33,737 crore. At that time, Google also entered into a commercial agreement with Jio Platforms.
Google invested in Jio Platforms as a part of ‘Google for India Digitisation Fund’. This fund was announced last year. This included unveiled plans to invest Rs. 75,000 crore in India over the next 5-7 years. With the fund, Google aimed to help accelerate digitization in the country and bridge the digital divide.
Under this agreement, the two companies agreed to jointly develop an entry-level, affordable smartphone.
In a virtual press conference, Sundar Pichai said, “we are focused on building an affordable phone… we are committed to making progress on the project and we are working with them (Jio)”. However, he did not say anything about other details, such as launch date, pricing and specifications.
Pichai also hinted on some new announcements coming this year. “Google is also looking at new opportunities to deploy funds from its USD 10 billion India Digitisation Fund (IDF), and will make some announcements later this year,” Pichai said.
Pichai also talked about the impact of COVID-19 on Google’s projects. He said the pandemic has highlighted the importance technology plays in people’s lives.
“…We realise the importance technology plays, and be it building products like Google Meet or working to make sure all of this works well on their (telecom operators’) networks, and bringing more affordable access to smartphones and computing, it’s just deepened our efforts there,” he said.