JioPhone Next 4G smartphone will enable vernacular speakers to connect with people speaking different regional languages, mainly to target around 30 crore 2G users in the country. The made in India smartphone is likely to be launched before Diwali.
JioPhone Next will have the first operating system — Pragati OS — jointly developed by Jio and Google, customised for Indian users, the telco said in a video released on Monday.
Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani at the group’s 44th annual general meeting had asserted that an ultra-affordable 4G smartphone is essential to make India ‘2G-mukt’ (free of 2G).
He had said India still has nearly 30 crore mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services since most basic 4G smartphones remain unaffordable.
Jio was the first company that launched 4G mobile phones in India free for consumers, where they were required to pay a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500 for a JioPhone, built like an advanced feature phone.
JioPhone Next will come with a touch screen, and the device is built on Qualcomm chipsets.
The smartphones that use Qualcomm chipsets are priced on the higher side compared to those using competing chipsets with a similar level of computing power but Ambani had promised that “JioPhone Next will be by far the most affordable smartphone not just in India but globally”.
The phone will use a language-translation tool as a special feature to enable communication between vernacular speakers in India.
“Jio’s vision for India resonates with that of Google. Pragati OS – Pragati stands for progress – is powered by Android, as a result of this passionate effort bringing together best minds at Jio and Google,” Android general manager and India engineering lead Ram Papatla said in the video.
JioPhone Next will have a translation feature working in 10 Indian languages.
“I am so proud of this new OS. All of us are. It has some of the coolest new features specially translated now. I can speak in one language, and the phone will translate that into another language,” JioPhone Next product management Binish Parangodath said.
The phone will also come with a read-aloud function, which will read out content from any app open on the screen, Jio official Ashok Agarwal said.
JioPhone Next will have a Qualcomm processor and manufactured at RIL group’s Neolync unit in Tirupati and Sriperumbudur.
“Jio Phone Next will help our nation become more and more Atmanirbhar,” Parangodath said.
The device will come with an entire suite of applications from both Google and Jio. The company has promised to provide features like the voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, smart camera with augmented reality filter.
The JioPhone Next launch was deferred from September 10 to Diwali festive season due to the shortage of semiconductors and refining the features promised in the device.