Google keen on more Jio-like partnerships in India
Google is open to partnering with more OEMs, telecom carriers and developers to develop Android optimisations like it has with JioPhone Next, said Ram Papatla, general manager and engineering lead in India for Android.
“Nothing is off the table and over the next few months and years we will evaluate how we can go ahead with partnerships. Hopefully, we will have more announcements over the next few months,” he added.
According to Papatla, PragatiOS, the mobile operating system in the JioPhone Next, may not be exclusive to the Mukesh Ambani-led company. “It is an extension of Android and as with any new optimisation we do, we have to first achieve product market fit. It is still early days to comment on its distribution,” he said.
The evaluation of any partnership will be based on what challenges need to be solved for India. “For instance, in the case of the JioPhone Next, it has been about bridging the affordability gap and using the network of Jio”, said Papatla.
However, Google does not yet have any plans of building India-specific hardware devices by itself. Asked about the criticism from several quarters that the JioPhone Next is too expensive for Indian mass market users, Papatla said that there are certain quality and security benchmarks that the tech giant cannot compromise with.
“It is always a trade-off between quality and how deep we want to go (into the Indian market). This is a challenge we are taking on and we will crack it over the next few months and years,” he added. Business Standard
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