Reliance Jio
Commuters are reflected on an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, at a bus stop in Mumbai.REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade

Updated on January 31, 2018, at 1 pm:

Reliance Jio has reportedly denied partnering with MediaTek for Android Oreo Go-powered smartphones launching in Q1 2018. The company spokesperson told The Mobile Indian that there is no information about such development within the company. 

IBTimes India has reached out to the company for an official comment on the matter and we'll update the article when we hear back. 

Original article

After disrupting the mobile phone industry by making feature phones relevant, the Mukesh Ambani-led company Reliance Jio is aiming to make a splash in the smartphone market. Taking advantage of Google's Android Go programme, the telecom, and technology company has partnered with renowned chip maker MediaTek for ultra-affordable smartphones.

"In addition to their own 4G feature phone, Jio is working very hard with not only MediaTek but also Google for smartphone devices... entry level Android Go," MediaTek General Manager (Wireless Communications BU) TL Lee said, according to a PTI report on Tuesday.

The report further states that the Android Go Oreo powered budget smartphones from Jio will arrive as early as Q1 this year. With just two months left in the current quarter, we can expect the official news sooner than later.

Reliance Jio has had unprecedented success with its JioPhone as millions took advantage of the essentially free smart feature phone. JioPhone was the first to offer 4G VoLTE support on a feature phone, making it relevant to crores of Indians who couldn't afford or resist the idea of shifting to smartphones.

Android Oreo Go edition as seen on Google blog post
Android Oreo Go edition as seen on Google blog postGoogle blog

Given Jio's disruptive nature, it is likely that the Android Oreo Go smartphones will be priced competitively, possibly under Rs 2,000. The company managed to sell 6 million units of its JioPhones. The company bundled the phone with low-cost data plans and OTT services to compel buyers and promised a full refund after three years. It remains to be seen how Jio will utilise Android Go to make phones that'll strike a similar appeal.

Android Go was launched by Google as a toned down version of Android OS, targeted mainly towards markets like India. In budget phones, RAM and storage configuration is usually low, making it difficult for heavy Android apps to perform their best. To avoid lags, Android Go trims apps and offers smooth performs and room for more storage.

MediaTek is one of the first chip makers to offer Android Go support. Besides Jio, MediaTek is working with other OEMs such as Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, and others.

MediaTek for Android Go phones
MediaTek for Android Go phonesFacebook/MediaTek

"We work with a lot of handset makers, Indian, Chinese and international. Our focus this year is to bring more premium features that can be extended to end customers in entry and mid level smartphones," Lee added.

In addition to the new partnership with Jio, the company also showcased its latest chipset MediaTek MT6739 quad-core SoC with ARM Cortex A53 cores to power Android Go smartphones, BGR reported. Key features supported by the new chip include 18:9 display with HD+ resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels, 13MP+2MP dual cameras, dual VoLTE, face unlocking feature, up to 1GB RAM and 8GB storage.