At the Annual General Meeting, Reliance Jio launched the JioPhone, a feature phone set to disrupt the 2G dominated ‘dumb phone’ market at a never-seen before price tag – Rs. 0. The JioPhone appears like a normal feature phone topped with an outstanding feature that gives it an edge over the others – 4G VoLTE. The JioPhone will be available for pre-orders starting August 24.
The JioPhone is a feature phone sporting the very basic specifications such as an alphanumeric keypad, a microphone, headphone jack, speakers and compatibility with FM Radio. Where this device differentiates itself from the others in this category is its capability to transfer data over Jio’s blazing fast 4G network. The device will come pre-installed with Jio’s suite of apps that will run over the Internet. All of this at an effective cost of Rs.0! The phone will be available for purchase with a deposit amount of Rs. 1500, however, this amount will be refundable after a period of 3 years, as RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani stated.
The JioPhone will be available for beta testing from August 15, 2017 and pre-bookings will start from August 24, 2017. Although the shipping date of the device is still uncertain, the phone should possibly be available by September. Jio has also updated its webpage so you don’t miss out on the pre-booking dates. Here’s how you could ensure you get your hands on one of these mind-blowing devices:
- Log onto Jio’s web page for the JioPhone.
- Select the keep me posted option and fill the contact details form.
- Accept to their terms and conditions that state that your data is safe.
- Click on Submit.
Upon clicking the submit button, a message appears together with an e-mail in your inbox thanking you for your interest in the programme. It also states that someone from their team will get in touch with you to proceed further.
The JioPhone is all set to revolutionize the “dumb phone” market just like Jio changed the face of Indian telecom when it launched VoLTE. But does this mean all good? Well, there has been controversy surrounding the JioPhone and Net Neutrality as well. The JioPhone runs a suite of Jio Apps and will restrict users to use them. Users may not be allowed to use apps of their preference such as Whatsapp and Facebook, owing to the device’s constraints as it is a feature phone and also partly because Jio may decide not to. Either way, net neutrality has been a sensitive subject of late and competitors such as Idea have voiced their opinion on this.
Either way, the JioPhone effectively being a free giveaway is expected to do well and is awaited by the masses.
What are your views on the JioPhone? Do you think its incapability to support some of your favourite apps would be a deal breaker? Do let us know in the comments section below.