Home Technology Reliance JioPhone Is Making Rivals Scurrying And Looking For Options

Reliance JioPhone Is Making Rivals Scurrying And Looking For Options

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Owned by Mukesh Ambani, Reliance came with a storm into the telecom market with the launch of Jio, offering free internet services and other packs. Now with the pre-booking of its much talked about JioPhone starting, Reliance is bringing another storm, this time into the mobile market. The JioPhone is a 4G-enabled feature phone aimed to bring Jio services to the lower-income group which makes up for almost 60 percent of Indian mobile users.

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The only issue with Jio completely taking over India’s telecom market was the price of 4G handsets which got users thinking whether it was wise to invest into a smartphone just to avail the free services. But with the launch of JioPhone and its effective cost of Rs 0, certainly many of the feature-phone using Indians would go for the JioPhone. The launch is going to affect telecom market as well as lower-end handset makers. Other feature phones might become obsolete.

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Other telecom companies are gearing up their strategies to tackle the situation. Bharti Airtel is currently in the midst of talks with handset makers to launch a 4G smartphone in the days leading up to Diwali at a mere cost of Rs 2500. To tackle Jio, Airtel is also bundling up its data and call services, offering plans that are almost identical to Jio. Vodafone India, India’s second largest telecom company, partnered with China’s itel company to offer voice packs and cashback offers on the feature phone. Currently offering Rs 50 worth of talktime for 18 months to its consumers who buy one of the 17 models priced between Rs 800 to Rs 1600, Vodafone India brought this deal as a first in India.

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JioPhone will face other challenges as well. The only upgrade it offers is to a faster data service but no other smartphone feature. Reliance is in talks with WhatsApp engineers to bring a lite mode of the application to the JioPhone but until that happens, consumers will have doubts whether to bind themselves in the 3-year period to buy the phone at the effective cost of Rs 0.

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