Reliance came up with a new smartphone brand called LYF to sell the 4G VoLTE enabled smartphones that work with the Jio 4G network. While the Jio 4G SIM with the unlimited free internet, voice calls, and SMS are exclusively offered with the LYF smartphones, the company captured a decent market share. Though the devices with year’s old specifications, the free Jio 4G SIM has brought many sales. As the free offer is ended earlier this month, the LYF brand can’t continue its steady growth as seen with the free Jio 4G offer. In between, there are also rumors that the company will be launching two 4G VoLTE enabled feature phones.
Now, the latest news suggests Reliance Jio in collaboration with Google to launch a low-cost 4G VoLTE smartphone. While there is no official information, the Sanchit Gogia, CEO at Greyhound Research says, “Such a smartphone will help Jio increase data adoption – helping it render movies and music better over its network. It will also improve the overall quality of service delivered on the Jio network. For Google, this would mean access to a large number of new users who would be connecting to the internet for the first time. It may also help the company assess its low-cost handset strategy.” Apart from smartphones, both these companies are also said to be closely working on the software development of Jio’s smart TV services.
Google already tried selling low-cost smartphones via its own Android One platform in India, but miserably failed as the Chinese manufacturers offered much better hardware and built quality at the same price. At that time, Google collaborated with Indian smartphone manufacturers like Micromax, Karbonn, and Spice to manufacturer Android One devices, but the design, development, marketing, and support are taken care by Google itself. For the second version of Android One smartphones, Google only provided the software support and marketing. Even after all these efforts, the Android One program failed without reaching its goals, at least in India.
With the Reliance Jio, Google might get the expected results as Jio disrupted the Indian telecom industry with its aggressive pricing of its 4G data plans. Since the Jio 4G doesn’t work with the 2G network, it misses the feature phone users which accounts for a significant market share in India. Talking about the affordable smartphone, it will be officially launched by the end of this year. Stay tuned on PhoneRadar for more details!