ET has learnt that Jio is negotiating with its electronic manufacturing service partners for local production of the Jio-Google smartphone.
Currently, US contract manufacturers Flex makes the RIL’s 4G feature phone, JioPhone.
For Mukesh Ambani-led Jio, the new phone will ensure that its own some 100 million JioPhone subscribers transition easily from the 4G feature phone to a smartphone. Also, it will try and attract the 300 million feature phone users currently on the networks of Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.
Amid the slowing pace of user additions, Jio recently dropped its usage costs of its feature phone by 25 per cent with two offers, forcing rivals to delay their tariff hike plans.
According to JM Financial, the largest telco’s new tariff offer for its 100 million Jio Phone users is aimed at retaining them and getting more additions from the 300 million feature phone users.
“This is expected to be followed by the launch of the low-cost smartphone in association with Google,” it said.