back to article Google promises another low-end Android effort as it buys into Indian mega-carrier Jio Platforms

Google has revealed that $4.5bn of the $10bn “Indian digitisation fund” it revealed on Tuesday will go towards an investment in mobile carrier Jio Platforms. The Chocolate Factory therefore joins Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Intel, plus sovereign wealth funds as an investor in the carrier, …

  1. DS999

    Google doesn't want India to become another China

    Having some control of such a large carrier insures they don't get any 'wrong' ideas like the Chinese did years ago, and strip Googly bits out of Android and replace them with native equivalents.

    1. Raj

      Re: Google doesn't want India to become another China

      Any notional ‘control’ Google has is effectively neutralized by Facebook having an equally large - and still single digit - stake in Jio as well . They’re both competitors for data, and $4.5 billion isn’t a particularly large sum at Jio’s scale . All their data is now subject to a Indian data localization laws anyway .

      1. DS999

        Re: Google doesn't want India to become another China

        Google doesn't care if the data can't leave India, it doesn't need to have the data leave India to sell ads targeted to people who live there. That won't happen if Jio ships Android phones with the Googly bits removed as in China. Facebook probably supports Google in this, because Google-free phones mean local competitors grow big to fill the vacuum, including ones that compete with Facebook like WeChat.

        1. Raj

          Re: Google doesn't want India to become another China

          Indian commercial ad gains staying within India , denominated in Indian currency is just fine .

          1. DS999

            Re: Google doesn't want India to become another China

            Indian commercial ad gains staying within India , denominated in Indian currency is just fine .

            But they won't with Google & Facebook in charge, most of their profits come back to the US even if they have to operate datacenters in India - which they probably would need anyway even without data localization laws. India would be much better off in the long run if it were able to create an Android ecosystem without Google like China has done. It would be painful in the short run for users to wean themselves off Google tools and use inferior-at-first locally grown alternatives, but in the long run India would be better off economically.

            I think the rest of world would be better off too. Google and Facebook having a monopoly on the eyeballs of the world (or even the eyeballs of the world minus China) is not a good thing for anyone, even Americans.

  2. doublelayer Silver badge

    It's Go edition, not Android One

    "Nor is there news of how the new device will impact Android One, the slightly-simplified version of Android that Google launched in 2014 to bring low-cost smartphones to India. Android One is currently alive and well and Google promotes a decent range of handsets running the OS."

    That's incorrect. You're thinking of Android Go Edition. Go Edition is designed to run in a gigabyte or less of memory with the extra surprise feature of not having compatibility with some things that you will find out at some random time after you make the purchase. Android One, on the other hand, is a guarantee to supply updates for such a long time that most likely all phones will be broken by the time it expires. Well, to supply updates for sort of a long time. Well about half the expected update lifespan of an Apple device and a third of the lifetime for a Lineage OS device.

    Yes, I know about the tips and corrections address. I might send a summary there at some point, but I'm not on a machine with a mail client configured at the moment and I'm kind of lazy.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: It's Go edition, not Android One

      Yeah, I read this and thought the same - they mean "Go".

      I have that on my tablet. It's... interesting. Looks like Android, feels like Android, has some really weird restrictions (like can only connect to one Bluetooth device at a time, so no keyboard and speaker).

      Still, it's slow (the tablet was a freebie) but it works. It runs Docs, Firefox, and Netflix...

  3. PTW
    Mushroom

    One reason only

    To try and kill off KaiOS as used by millions of Joi feature phones and some HMD devices like the 8110

    Is this our only option for Google? ----->

    Microsoft, I hate you for killing Windows Mobile

    1. Mark192 Bronze badge

      Re: One reason only

      "To try and kill off KaiOS"

      My thoughts too. Not many countries are of a scale that can make homegrown ecosystems viable but India is definitely one of them.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: One reason only

        KaiOS is using most of the code of Firefox OS (global effort) and is continued by an American company. While I think the most effective sales effort for those devices has been in India, it's not an Indian home-grown OS. Incidentally, Google has been one of the most prominent developers of apps for that platform and has invested in the developer. I assume they're preparing for the possibility that they don't keep their chokehold on the low-end smartphone market.

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