Mukesh Ambani’s announcement of the JioPhone at the Reliance Industries AGM came as a very surprising one as it means that the telecom company is now foraying into the hardware market and making Jio accessible to all.
The new JioPhone is a feature phone with a 2.4 inch colour screen, a rear camera, Bluetooth, NFC and dual-SIM support, it also supports 4G VoLTE.
The phone also comes with smart apps pre-installed on it, like the Jio apps (Jio Music and all) and apps like Facebook. According to the report by NDTV gadgets, WhatsApp is not yet supported on JioPhone.
This offering of smart services on a feature phone seems like a good thing for India as it makes smart services available to the public and that too with high speed data coverage.
The phone’s NFC support also makes making payments a lot easier with UPI integration which will be available soon.
The subscription tariff for JioPhone is Rs. 153 per month with unlimited calls and texts and unlimited data with a cap of 500MB for high-speed data. There’s also a Rs. 309 per month plan which allows streaming of Jio channels on TVs.
The effective price of JioPhone is Rs. 0 , meaning that the phone is technically free with a condition – it requires a security sum of Rs. 1500 to be paid which is refundable after 3 years.
The above offer seems pretty lucrative and above all, cheap as regards calling, but the data cap is still okay given that unlimited data is still there though with lower speeds.
The initial security sum of Rs. 1500 seems logical – along with, in a way, pricing the phone at an apparent cost of Rs. 1500 which seems cheap for a feature phone.
Mukesh Ambani’s plan of making Jio accessible to the larger public and cashing on JioPhone as a means of doing it poses a competition threat to the other telecom majors.
JioPhone will available for pre-booking from August 24 and will be available from September.