The long-rumored Jio 4G feature phone which was earlier expected to be priced anywhere between Rs 999 to Rs 1,500 is finally set to ablaze the markets in August. This Jio feature phone with VoLTE support may be unveiled on July 21, the day Reliance Industries is organising its Annual General Meeting.
According to Economic Times, a research report by HSBC analyst Rajeev Sharma says that the Jio 4G feature phone will be priced as low as Rs 500 (almost $8). The research note says that a single piece of phone is subsidised by 60-70 percent while being originally priced between $10-$15 (roughly Rs. 650-970)
This fiery move by Mr Mukesh Ambani could help convince users of other 4G networks to switch to Reliance Jio 4G Network. Reports unveil that Jio may further reduce the data pack prices by 50 percent with the introduction of this highly discounted feature phone.
Reliance Jio is said to already have placed bulk orders for 18-20 million handsets to Chinese firms like Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone. Shipments will start in late July or early August.
The Jio feature phone will be sold under Lyf brand which is a venture of Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Digital. While the phone will be announced on Reliance’s AGM, the market supply may start on or after 15th August, reports say.
Jio plan for feature phone users
Along with the good news of launching Jio Feature Phone for Rs 500, the company is also planning to launch an aggressively priced tariff plan to reach even more customers. The new tariff plans will be priced somewhat between Rs 80-90 which is 50 percent less than the current minimum tariff of Rs 150.
However, it is less known whether the tariff plans will be available only for the Jio feature phone customers or for the existing subscribers on smartphones as well. Just this week, the company launched a new offer that provides customers with 224GB of 4G data, but this is limited only to those buying a new JioFi device, and not for existing users.
The Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone will in two variants: one featuring a Qualcomm processor, and the other with a Spreadtrum chip. Packed with a 2.4-inch display, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD card support, 2-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC, these leaked photos of the device show dedicated hardware buttons in the front for MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, and JioMusic apps.
Reliance Jio in its April’s regulatory filing said that it has over 112.55 users on its mobile network. The low priced feature phone will help Reliance attract users who are currently using 2G phones due to the high price of 4G smartphones.
The telecom industry has been bleeding since Mukesh Ambani delivered his speech at the launch of Jio. This strong and clever move by Reliance Jio can further increase the competition in the telecom industry.