Reliance Jio is all set to announce a new low-budget 4G VoLTE feature phone at its annual general meet(AGM) scheduled for July 21 in Mumbai. There are talks that the phone could be priced between Rs 500-Rs 1500. According to a PTI report, the company plans to sell 20 crore units Jio 4G feature phone units in over two years. This again is a ballpark figure considering 280 million of all phones were sold in 2016 and Indian Cellular Association expects it to grow to 320 million by 2018.
“Reliance has not yet finalised actual unit price of the feature phones, but it is likely to be in the range of Rs 1,000-1,500 a unit. It will be smart feature phone with pre- loaded apps of Reliance Jio like Jio TV, Jio Money etc,” a source told PTI. The same source also revealed that the phone could come with connectivity options like Wi-Fi, cable port to connect the handset with the TV sets and watch Jio TV. The internet connectivity goes without a say.
“The company is eyeing 2G users who cannot afford expensive smartphones and are paying high call rates. Jios voice calls will be free which will encourage them to buy these handsets.”
There are reports that Jio is in talks with few Chinese vendors and Intex in India for the manufacture of the phone. According to an ET report, Jio has also joined hands with Indian handset maker Intex for manufacturing process and the phone could come to market in August.
“We will launch this 4G feature phone in this quarter, but will not be selling it standalone in the market. We are in dialogue with Reliance Jio for bundling which should be through very soon,” Nidhi Markanday, business head of Intex Technologies had told ET.
There are also speculations that the Jio could also partner with Foxconn for the manufacture.
The same source also informed PTI that Jio plans to sell around 10 million units initially, then increase it to 100 million in the first year and another 100 million next year. ”
“Intex will bid for a state government tender which has huge requirement of low-cost mobile phone, but it wants bidder to come with a service provider. The economy of scale is enough to bring down the cost of phone. The discussion with RIL started for this tender and is now moving in direction for low-cost 4G feature phones,” the source said.
With PTI inputs