Google investment and tie-up of $4.5 billion in Reliance Industries to make smartphones in India. The new Jio-Google smartphone will pose a major challenge to Chinese phone makers.
Mukesh Ambani announced the partnership with google at his company’s annual meeting last week. Google will build Android OS to power low-cost 4G/5G smartphones.
This poses a great threat to chinese brands like oppo, vivi, xiaomi which dominates $2 billion market in india.
History would see how Reliance will undercut other brands under the MadeInIndia wave.
Reliance executed an identical plan in 2017 with the launch of the JioPhone, a no-frills device that gave users internet access for as little as $20. JioPhone now has more 100 million users, many of whom are internet first-timers.
“They (the Chinese players) are likely to chop their price to compete and their margins could shrink,” said A Gururaj, the previous India head of contract manufacturers Wistron and Flextronics. “I see the Google-Jio phone as an enormous hit.”
Reliance’s ambition handy a smartphone to each Indian could also win subscribers from telecoms rivals Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, who still have many many users with old-style feature phones on basic 2G networks.
Realme declined to comment. Reliance, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo didn’t answer requests for comment.
Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel didn’t immediately answer requests for comment.