The alliance between the largest telecom operator of India Reliance Jio and Google to launch affordable 4G or 5G smartphones in the Indian market might be a nightmare for the Chinese smartphone manufactures who dominate the Indian smartphone space. As reported by ET Telecom, Chinese smartphone makers nearly own 80% of the smartphone market in India. However, the transition from 4G to 5G, which is one of the significant goals Jio-Google partnership will directly hit the giant market structure of Chinese brands. Technology firm CyberMedia Research (CMR) expressed its views and stated that the Jio-Google partnership must be viewed as a severe disruptive force that current Chinese and global brand must compulsorily watch out. Amit Sharma, who is the Research Analyst at Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, stated that affordable entry-level smartphone in association with Google would have the potential to hack and fuel growth in the entry-level smartphone market.
Jio-Google Partnership will Focus on Low-Income Users
Under the partnership, Google will provide optimisations to its Android operating system and Play Store for smartphones that Jio will launch in the market. Both Reliance Jio and Google are trying to address low-income users who do not own a smartphone or have been unsure about switching from cheap feature smartphones. However, the launch of an affordable 5G variant under the price range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 will intrigue the low-income users as well as middle-income earners.
It is expected that the launch of affordable 4G or 5G smartphone could take up to one year because of the uncertainty around 5G spectrum auctions in India. Navkender Singh who is the research director at International Data Corporation (IDC) stated that it is important to shift hundreds of millions of feature users to migrate to smartphones and contribute to the digital economy by using digital services.
Qualcomm’s Investment in Reliance Jio Might Accelerate the Process
Reliance Jio attracted various global brands to be a part of Reliance family and invest in Jio platforms. The US-based chip designer Qualcomm also invested Rs 730 crore in Jio Platforms in exchange for 0.15 % stake. Qualcomm-Jio deal is an indicator that both the companies are already working on affordable 5G smartphone chipset. Also, Qualcomm has launched 4G feature phone chipset for Jio users.