Reliance Jio has been long rumoured to be working on a 4G VoLTE feature phone for a cheap price. Now a report by Economic Times has stated that Jio will be launching the feature phone on July 21 for Rs. 500. The same day, Reliance will be holding its 2017 Annual General Meeting. The news came from a research note filed by an HSBC analyst, who has stated that Reliance will have to price the phone under $8 which converts to roughly Rs. 500 in order to move the operator’s 4G network. Currently, Reliance Jio is said to be planning new aggressively priced tariff plans.
Economic Times reported that Jio will need to subsidise the phone by up to $10 to $15 in order to sell the feature phone for Rs. 500. They also reported that Reliance has placed an order of about 20 million units with Chinese vendors like Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone. The report also stated the phone will start shipping in late July or early August.
Though the phone is expected to launch on July 21, it will reportedly be made available on August 15. The feature phone is expected to be launched under the LYF brand. However, Jio could introduce the smartphone as a bundle pack or a standalone device under its name.
Along with this new 4G feature phone, Reliance Jio is said to be launching new aggressively priced tariff plans to expand its user base. These new Jio plans are supposed to be priced at Rs. 80 to Rs. 100. However, we are yet to see if these plans will be offered to the people who purchase the Rs. 500 feature phone or for every Reliance Jio user. The company has recently launched a new offer for its JioFi devices where the customers will get 224GB of 4G data when they get a new JioFi device. We also had compared the current plans being offered by the main telecom providers in India, and which one would be the best choice.
As we have seen in previous leaks, Reliance may launch two variants one with a Qualcomm processor, and the other with a Spreadtrum processor. In terms of specifications, the feature phone is said to sport a 2.4-inch display with 512MB RAM, 4GB Internal Storage expandable via a microSD card. The phone is also said to come with a 2-megapixel primary camera and a VGA front camera. In terms of connectivity, the phone will come with Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC and 4G VoLTE support. The buyers will also have access to Jio’s various apps to increase productivity. It is also expected that Jio will make calls and SMS’s free on this device.