Reliance JioPhone, the 4G VoLTE feature phone, is now official. The big question on everyone’s mind: What does the JioPhone, which is a 4G VoLTE feature phone with smartphone features, really cost for the user? The JioPhone’s price in India is technically Rs 0, but as usual there’s a catch. So what is the true price in India of the JioPhone? We explain below.
JioPhone’s price in India is officially Rs 0, but users have to pay a security deposit of Rs 1,500. According to RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani’s statement, this Rs 1,500 deposit is to ensure there is no “misuse of the free phone”. Also, the Rs 1500 deposit is totally refundable, and a user can get back this amount after three years of using the phone. Of course, you will have to return the used Reliance JioPhone as well.
So there’s a Rs 1,500 price tag already attached to the Reliance JioPhone. Jio has made all voice calls, SMS, etc, free on this JioPhone. But JioPhone users will get special recharge packs, instead of the more expensive ones for the regular Jio users. There’s a special Rs 153 recharge for JioPhone users, which will offer them unlimited data (FUP is 500 MB or 0.5 GB per day), unlimited voice calls and SMS and lasts for a month.
For those who can’t afford Rs 153 in one go, Jio has two sachet packs at Rs 24 and Rs 54. The validity of the Rs 24 pack is two days, while the Rs 54 pack will last for seven days. Users will have unlimited voice calling on these packs along with unlimited data. Overall, if you get 12 of these Rs 153 recharges, the cost comes to Rs 1836 for the entire year. So in effect, the JioPhone will cost you Rs 3336 for the first year, if you total all the recharges and the security deposit.
But remember out of this, Rs 1500 is refundable, and can be claimed after three years. Effectively the cost of the JioPhone is Rs 500 per year, though this can be reclaimed by the user. JioPhone will go on beta from August 15, but pre-bookings will open from August 24.
The JioPhone will go on sale in September, and according to RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani they will have around 5 million units is the target they have set themselves every week. However, given the price of this phone and unlimited data, voice calls on a feature phone, the demand for this will be very high.