The world's most affordable Android smartphone: Jio and Google unveil the JioPhone Next
It's no secret that the average price of smartphones is steadily increasing. In India, where less than 50 percent of residents own a smartphone, the affordability of modern technology is a glaring issue. The reason for India's comparably low adoption rate is fairly obvious: Most workers would have to spend multiple paychecks to buy a smartphone, which the less wealthy population simply cannot afford. The Mumbai-based telecommunications company Jio is working diligently to solve this problem.
Jio's solution is the recently revealed JioPhone Next, the supposedly most affordable Android smartphone in the entire world. From a technical point of view, this device has barely anything in common with popular flagship phones from Apple or Samsung. Even though the company has not provided detailed specifications of the JioPhone Next, the phone reportedly features a smart camera, a voice assistant and a translation function. Furthermore, it runs on a heavily modified version of Android, which was custom-built by Google and includes many of the most popular Google apps and services.
The JioPhone Next is expected to be released later this year, and surprisingly there are plans to sell the budget device in more countries than just India. The all-important price of the most affordable smartphone has not been announced, but the predecessor's price of 1,999 Indian Rupees (about US$27) gives us a rough estimate of how much the phone will cost. In comparison, Apple sells the baseline iPhone 12 in India for 79,900 Rupees (US$1,074).