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Google, Jio unveil affordable smartphone JioPhone Next

Will be available in the market from 10 September.

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KOLKATA: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)’s telecom arm Jio democratised internet usage in India in 2016 with the launch of affordable 4G connections. The company did not limit itself to just telecom after its humongous success but transformed itself into a technology platform. Over the last year, it also struck several partnerships with global tech giants including Google.

At the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of RIL on Thursday, chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani made yet another major announcement about taking the partnership one step further. The two companies have now collaborated to develop India’s ‘most affordable smartphone’ JioPhone Next.

The fully-featured smartphone will be available from 10 September. However, the company has not revealed the price yet.

JioPhone Next will have features like a voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters. It seems quite clear that the company is not only looking at affordability but the user-friendly aspect for mass consumers. And language translation features may lead to another revolution in regionalisation of the digital economy in India.

In addition to that, Ambani has announced a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio. The latter will use Google Cloud's cutting-edge technologies to power Jio's 5G Solutions and for powering the internal needs of key Reliance growth businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioSaavn, and JioHealth.

“We are confident of being the first to launch full-fledged 5G services. And, because of our converged, future-proof architecture, Jio's network is uniquely positioned to quickly and seamlessly upgrade from 4G to 5G," said Ambani, "To develop the end-to-end 5G ecosystem we are now working with leading global partners to develop a full range of 5G-capable devices. The Jio 5G technology is also well-positioned to create compelling applications for consumers and enterprises spanning Healthcare, Education, Entertainment, Retail and other key verticals of the economy."

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