Last week, Google announced a $10B fund to accelerate the digital economy in India.
The company has now decided to pour 45% of that fund into Jio – which is owned by Reliance Industries, a massive Indian conglomerate.
The goal is to “drive smartphone penetration in the country”.
Millions of people in rural India still use feature phones because even the most affordable smartphones in this country (Oppo, Vivo) are too expensive for them.
Google-Jio will jointly develop low-cost, entry-level smartphones with custom Android OS and onboard India’s 350M feature-phone users.
Once these smartphones are out – users will be able to download Google family apps such as Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, among others.
A big win for G.
What happens then?
Rural Indians now would wanna make some online friends. So they’ll install the FB family of apps.
When this happens, it will open up a whole new market for FB and almost double their userbase in India.
FB’s plan to go after this market miserably failed last time (remember Internet.org and Free Basics).
G-J partnership is a blessing in disguise for the social media giant.
“Google-Jio deal is an attempt to build a phone that could potentially unlock new opportunities and boost data consumption. You can’t just stick a regular Android smartphone and expect rural consumers to take a liking to it. They have different aspirations. They have different needs.
For instance, rural consumers are more likely to use UC Web browser because it employs complex compression techniques and loads web content faster whilst using less data. They use websites like SongsPK to download music for free since streaming doesn’t work well on 2G connections. They still use feature phones because even the most affordable smartphones in this country are too expensive.” – Finshots
GIF Credits: eonline/GIPHY