Rumors of Reliance Jio launching a budget 4G feature phone have long circulated. While Reliance does have a slew of smartphones under its LYF brand, there aren’t many players in the 4G feature phones segment as yet. While the Indian market is still maturing and the shift to smartphones is gradual, a large amount of the feature phone market remains untapped. The entry of a Jio-backed 4G feature phone in the market could again disrupt the market and give Reliance an edge over rival telecom operators. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAIAlso Read - Airtel Rs 456 vs Jio Rs 447 prepaid plan: Check validity, data, voice calls, and other benefits
According to a report by The Economic Times, the Reliance Jio feature phone later this month, on July 21, when the Reliance Industries’ Annual general meet is scheduled. While the rumors had pegged the price of the feature phone in the sub-Rs 1000 segment, analysts at HSBC have pegged the device price at around the Rs 500 mark. Rajiv Sharma, HSBC director and telecoms analyst, has suggested in an note procured by ET that the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE phone will be priced, “at a paltry Rs 500 (sub-$8) to lure 2G subscribers to directly switch to 4G”, further adding, “Jio subsidising each handset by as much as $10-15 (Rs 650-975).” Also Read - Jio Freedom Plans 2021: Jio launches 5 new prepaid plans with no daily data limit - check details
The specifications of the upcoming device are still not known though being a budget feature phone, there aren’t too many expectations except for the 4G functionality. Along with the budget phone, Reliance Jio is also expected to announce new tariff plans at the general meeting. The Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan and other offers announced at the beginning of the financial year are now coming to an end and new offers are awaited from the 4G service provider. The feature phone coupled with new data offers is expected to boost the slowly dipping Reliance Jio subscriber numbers. ALSO READ: RIL to raise Rs 25,000 crore via NCDs for Jio expansion
Reliance Jio recently unveiled new offers for JioFi users – offering up to 224GB data for a year at nominal rates. There are multiple offers by Reliance Jio, starting at Rs 149. However, the offers are valid only for new Reliance JioFi and new SIM card buyers with Jio Prime membership. The device is priced at Rs 1,999 and the Prime membership comes for Rs 99 for a year. The plans between Rs 149 per month to Rs 990 for 2 cycles offers anywhere between 2GB 4G data monthly to 2GB data per day. There are also plans offering data without FUP.
The entry of Reliance Jio disrupted the telecom market and lead to data warms, further leading to a consolidation of the Indian operators. The launch of a new feature device could fuel the war further, with Reliance Jio making inroads in the 2G markets of the country which are yet not affected by the data war. The rural markets are Jio’s target as suggested by analysts. In addition to the feature phone, the excitement is also surrounding the new plans is also rising among present Jio customers.