Reliance Jio is planning to launch a 4G-enabled feature phone that could be priced as low as Rs 1,500. According to a report in Financial Express, Jio is already in talks with Chinese manufacturers to source these phones. For Jio, affordable smartphones could significantly boost the number of users on its network given there aren’t many options of Rs 1,500 4G-VoLTE feature phone available in the market.
So, what does it mean for the users? To begin with, Jio phones are likely to be pre-loaded with a bouquet of apps. While these phones will allow for VoLTE calling, they may restrict the Internet privileges that other smartphone users enjoy.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about 4G-VoLTE feature phones:
Why Reliance Jio 4G-VoLTE feature phone?
For Reliance Jio, a 4G VoLTE phone of its own becomes all the more important given its reliance entirely on 4G network for calling, mobile data and more. Jio already has its own line-up of LYF branded phones, but they are not in the affordable segment. The competition in the Indian smartphone category is intense, thanks to Chinese players who have taken over the market with their budget offerings.
Traditionally, feature phones are associated with 2G or 3G. Among the few options with 4G-VoLTE capabilities is Lava 4G Connect M1 launched in February and priced at Rs 3,333. However, the scenario may change soon with home-grown manufacturers Lava and Micromax planning to cut prices of their feature phones, says a report in Economic Times.
Previously, numerous leaks surrounding Jio’s new phones had surfaced online. A report in ET states Reliance Jio is working with Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications to make its 4G phones affordable. “We are working on a technology that makes a Rs 1,500 4G feature phone viable. We have already started concept promotions to our partners,” Spreadtrum Communications’ country head told ET.
Further, Financial Express report states that Jio is in talks with Chinese manufacturers like “Techchain, FortuneShip and Uniscope,” for its 4G phones.
The bigger picture
Reliance Jio already has more than 100 million users on its network owing to its cheap data offerings. Now with a Rs 1,500 phone, Jio could make 4G available to many more users who haven’t been able to afford feature phones until now. A Rs 1,500 4G-VoLTE phone is likely to sell like hot cakes and Jio won’t just benefit from the sales but also from the huge volume of data consumption by users.