Reliance Jio's 4G feature phone, which costs Rs 500, was a rumour until today. However, this new report leaked clear pictures of the device in flesh. Last week we reported that Jio is closing up to the launch date of a 4G feature phone priced at Rs 500. Now, these images not only substantiate the rumour, but also give more details about the coming device.
A report from TechPP shows images of a black feature phone with a 2Megapixel camera module at the back of the device. The phone looks like an average feature phone but carries Jio's Lyf branding which has been so far, been used for the company's smartphone line-up.
The phone also has a big button which indicates the presence a torch light on the device. Though it looks very much like an ordinary feature phone, the Jio Lyf branding in itself means that it will be 4G capable, as the new company doesn't deal with any other spectrum but 4G. The phone is also expected to run a few of Jio's services like JioTV.
The leak also suggests that the 4G VoLTE phone by Jio will come with 512MB of RAM paired with 4GB of internal storage, which is expected to be expandable up to 128GB via a microSD card.
Reliance Jio's growth was exponential in the initial months of its launch but has gradually slumped. As per April 2017, the Mukesh Ambani-led company registered over 112 million subscribers. One of the biggest hurdles the company faces is the limited number of 4G-capable phones in the country. However, with what Jio has planned next the number might go way beyond the existing user-base.
This new move will be another major disruption after Reliance Jio's mega launch of Jio 4G services back in September last year. With such a low priced 4G feature phone, the impact of the Reliance Jio will be felt not only in the telecom industry but also among feature phone manufacturers.
The low price will facilitate more buyers to shift to 4G network without the need of an expensive smartphone.
We are not sure if these subsidized phones will be launched as a part of an offer from Reliance Jio or will be stand alone devices.
Considering that the company will be subsidizing about two-thirds of the actual cost of the device, there is a high chance that the 4G feature phone will come bundled with a Reliance Jio connection. A similar model is followed in most developed countries where carriers tie-up with manufacturers to drastically bring down the prices of the handset.
Along with the device, the company is also expected to launch cheaper data plans, reducing the average revenue per user (ARPU). The new plans can go as low as Rs 80 to Rs 90.