JioPhone Next will end up having a lot of impact over 3-5 year time frame: Sundar Pichai

Alphabet CEO Pichai said that JioPhone Next will lay the foundation of digital transformation in India, during the company's Q3 2021 earnings con call

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Oct 28, 2021 8:37 AM  | 4 min read
Sundar Pichai

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is bullish about the affordable JioPhone Next smartphone that the company is co-developing with Indian telecom major Reliance Jio. Speaking during the company's Q3 2021 earnings conference call, Pichai believes that JioPhone Next will lay the foundation of digital transformation in India since it has the potential to get non-English speakers on the internet for the first time.

“Look, I think, obviously, the pandemic has been hard. But through it all, the people are looking for access and there's definitely been a wave of people who have adopted smartphones, and there is still -- we see the demand for people looking to shift from feature phones to smartphones. And so part of what excites me about the upcoming partnership with Jio in building a phone really investing beyond just English and getting languages and getting the local right for people and doing it in a way that many more people can take advantages of a smartphone,” Pichai told analysts.

He also said that the smartphone will have a transformational impact on the Indian market. He added that the JioPhone Next device features premium localised capabilities and is on track to launch in the market by Diwali. “So I view it as laying the foundation. It's a version of digital transformation and palpable, the demand we see. And I think over a 3 to 5-year time frame, it will end up having a lot of impact. But overall, India, just like Asia Pacific, continues to be an exciting market for us. We see strength across the categories we are involved in. And so you'll continue to see us stay focused there.”

Pichai noted that he had laid out a vision in 2016 to make Alphabet an AI-first company. “Five years later, this quarter's results show how our investments in AI are building more helpful products for people and for our partners in local communities. Today, I'll begin with new product highlights, then I'll cover our Cloud business, followed by YouTube,” he asserted.

The Alphabet CEO said that Search remains the heart of what the company does. “We have made remarkable advances over the past 23 years that benefits Search and related products like Google Assistant, which just celebrated five years.”

On YouTube, Pichai said that the video streaming behemoth has recently surpassed 50 million music and premium subscribers, including those in trial, and YouTube Shorts continues to see higher adoption rates. In the past year, the average number of daily first-time creators more than doubled.

“As we grow, we are maintaining our open global platform responsibly by removing harmful content and reducing bottom line content. Both our AI investments and the promotion of trusted sources have helped us significantly lower the Violative View Rate, which is the percentage of views on YouTube from content that violates our policies,” Pichai noted.

Alphabet SVP and Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler pointed out that 150 million people across 40 countries are now using Google Pay to manage transactions and stay on top of their finances. He also said that millions of merchants are using it to provide their customers with a simple and safe way to check out, and whether it's in store or online or via their app. In August, Google Pay had partnered with Setu fintech company in India.
Pichai said that Alphabet continues to support the news ecosystem and make quality journalism more accessible through its Search and Discover feed. Elaborating further, Schindler noted that in Q3 alone, Google signed over 120 deals and launched in three new markets: Japan, Colombia and Austria. “And of the more than 1,000 publications across a dozen plus countries that we now have on board, 90% are considered local, regional, or community newspapers.”

He also said that over 2 million creators are now making money and building their businesses on YouTube via YouTube partner program with 10 different ways to monetize their content from Super Chat to BrandConnect. “The next generation of businesses and media companies are being built by creators on YouTube, and we're excited to help them grow.”

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