Last year, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio disrupted the telecom space with super affordable 4G tariffs. The company seems to be geared to continue its disruptive streak by launching super-affordble feature phones that, apparently, will do away with the need for smartphones. According to an Economic Times report, Reliance Jio is considering launching 4G VoLTE-ready feature phones that would cost as little as Rs 999. What's more? The phone is said to be able to access Jio’s high-speed 4G internet, the Jio digital store and play music.
The phone, keeping affordable pricing in view, might lack some advanced functionalities, but it is speculated to boot Google’s Android and might have physical keyboard and front-facing camera. Going by the figures, about 65% of India’s subscriber base still uses feature phones. With the base price of smartphones starting from Rs 3,000, the adoption rate for smartphones has been weak. Reliance Jio is already selling smartphones under the LYF brand with price tags as low as Rs 3,499. These smartphones come bundled with Jio SIMs. Setting a new benchmark, the new feature phone, with a Rs 999 tag, will allow more people to go mobile.
At Rs 1,000 or thereabouts, the phone can potentially disrupt the market.
The Economic Times report also revealed that Reliance Jio is working with domestic manufacturers like Lava to manufacture these phones. Also, the phones will be partly subsidised to keep the price within the range of Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,500. These phones will carry both Jio and Lava branding and will be sold through respective retail channels, so that they can reach to a wider market.