A new Android smartphone and 5G partnership with Jio

Editor’s note: Today, we announced the next steps in our partnership with Jio Platforms, including a new, affordable Jio smartphone built with an optimized version of Android OS and a new 5G collaboration powered by Google Cloud. The following is adapted from remarks delivered by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, at Reliance Industries’ Annual General Meeting today.

Thank you to everyone at Reliance Industries for all you do for India — from investing in infrastructure and technology to creating jobs and expanding opportunity to supporting communities in need, especially in this difficult moment for the country.

It’s been devastating to see the country hit so hard by COVID-19. Yet it’s heartening to see how Reliance has stepped up to contribute to the national response and get support to the communities that need it most. On behalf of all of us at Google: We hope you are taking care and we are wishing for better days ahead.

For Google, the past year has brought renewed purpose and greater urgency to our mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. At a time when so many aspects of our lives and work are moving online, it’s even more important to make technology accessible and helpful for everyone. 

This goal is at the heart of our partnership with Reliance Jio. I was proud to help launch this partnership last year. It was the first and biggest equity investment from the ₹75,000 crore ($10 billion) Google for India Digitization Fund.

Our vision was to bring affordable access to information for Indians in their own language, to build new products and services for India’s unique needs, and to empower businesses with technology.

I’m excited that today, we can announce the next steps in this vision, starting with a new, affordable Jio smartphone, created with Google. Our teams have optimized a version of our Android OS especially for this device. It will offer language and translation features, a great camera, and support for the latest Android updates.

It is built for India and it will open up new possibilities for millions of new users who will experience the internet for the very first time. And we can’t wait to show you the device later this year.

I’m also proud to announce that we are taking our collaboration further with a new 5G partnership between Google Cloud and Jio.

It will help more than a billion Indians connect to a faster and better internet, support businesses in their digital transformation, and help Jio build new services in sectors like health, education and more — laying a foundation for the next phase of India’s digitization.  

As part of this collaboration, Reliance will also shift its core retail businesses to Google Cloud’s infrastructure. They will be able take advantage of Google’s AI and machine learning, e-commerce, and demand forecasting offerings. Harnessing the reliability and performance of Google Cloud will enable these businesses to scale up as needed to respond to customer demand. 

Empowering businesses as they embark on their digital transformation is a key part of our mission in India, and I’m excited for the innovations this partnership will help unleash. We are proud to play a part in India’s next wave of technological innovation. 

Helping to connect 1.3 billion Indians to the opportunities the internet creates is meaningful to all of us at Google — and certainly to me personally. I know that with greater access to smartphones and improved connectivity, there’s no limit to what India’s people can do. 

We look forward to getting technology into the hands of more people and to exploring what more we can achieve together in the years ahead.