Uncategorized

Jio-Google’s smartphone out, but analysts not impressed


NEW DELHI: Will the Ambani-Google partnership manage to take on the Chinese dominance in the Indian smartphone market? Analysts don’t seem to think so. As Reliance Jio announced the launch of the first jointly-developed affordable smartphone (JioPhone Next) aimed at capturing the large number of feature phone buyers at an upfront price of Rs 6,499 or a data-bundled EMI plan (18-24 months) after a down-payment of Rs 1,999, analysts did not read much into the challenge. While the phone aims at tapping into, and upgrading, the roughly 350-400 million feature phone customers, analysts said that the EMI plans — starting at Rs 300 and above — are expensive and not very lucrative for the targeted audience. And while the phone may still capture “some upgraders” and other smartphone buyers in the Rs 5,000-7,000 price category, it may not be enough to disturb the Chinese juggernaut (comprising companies such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, RealMe) that today lord over nearly 80% of the smartphone business. “I am disappointed and surprised at the pricing. It is out of sync of market realities and is priced higher than what was expected,” Navkendar Singh, Research Director at IDC, told TOI. “How can you expect a feature phone user, who may be spending only Rs 70-80 on his/her phone bill every month, to pay an EMI of Rs 300, or even more for the data-intensive (Rs 600) plan?” Tarun Pathak, Research Director at Counterpoint, said that “Chinese companies may not be threatened much” with Jio’s new device. “Average selling price (ASPs) of smartphones have gone up and the Chinese are more focused on the Rs 7,000-plus category. Jio’s phone falls slightly short of this target.” The phone – which runs on a specially-developed operating system (Pragati) based on Google’s Android — however, carries many features that the companies tout as unique and attractive for the buyers that Jio-Google are targeting. It allows translation of content in a choice of 10 Indian languages, reads out the text on the screen, and offers a digital assistant (like Siri) that answers voice queries. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries said that teams at Google and Jio have “succeeded in bringing this breakthrough device” to the Indian consumers, inspite of the current global supply chain challenges caused by the Covid pandemic. “I have always been a firm believer in the power of the digital revolution to enrich, enable and empower the lives of 1.35 billion Indians. We have done it in the past with connectivity. Now we are enabling it again with a smartphone device.” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said the JioPhone Next is an affordable smartphone designed for India. “To build it, our teams had to work together to solve complex engineering and design challenges, and I’m excited to see how millions of people will use these devices to better their lives and communities.”


Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: