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Jio's 999 feature phone, aims to target 100 Million more subscribers in India : Report

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is looking at attempting Monsoon Hungama yet again in a bid to attract millions of users to its telecom venture Reliance Jio Infocomm. The company is looking to launch feature phones with voice over LTE (VoLTE) capability to tap the rural and tier-III markets for its data services and mobile business.

  • Reliance Jio is reportedly planning to launch two 4G VoLTE feature phones
  • The VoLTE feature phones will be priced between Rs. 999 and Rs. 1,500
  • Reliance Jio free services, apps may be bundled with VoLTE feature phones
The VoLTE feature phones will have a keypad, front-facing and rear cameras and will run on a lighter version of Android operating system. These handsets will come with Jio’s content applications such as Jio Chat, Live TV and video on demand. Jio will push its digital wallet service, Jio Money Wallet, through these feature phones.

“Jio wants to tap all the segments in the country and sees huge potential in the rural areas, which it now aims to tap with VoLTE feature phones…The new devices will be aimed at first-time data users. “The 2G feature phone is still a big market in India,” a source was quoted as saying by the publication.

As per CMR report, feature phones shipments still outpace smartphones in India. Until November 2016, sales of feature phones was around 25 million, as opposed to 19 million for smartphones. Despite smartphones becoming more affordable, feature phones still account for 55 percent of all mobile phones, and as per reports, less than 15 percent feature phone users actually want to switch to a smartphone.

Reliance Jio is targeting this crowd with its feature phone, which could further hit incumbent players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. Jio is a 4G LTE-only network, which means that only those users who have a 4G phone can get on it (unless they want to do so via a convoluted way with Jio’s portable hotspot device). This means that Jio has not been able to target a big chunk of users, who are still on feature phones.

Shrey Kapoor is a Tech-Enthusiast, Harvard certified Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Expert. He Founder Techphlie.com, which is one of the India's Top Tech News Website. Even Forbes and many other renowned publishers took his articles reference. Shrey is a Technology analyst, strategic thinker and creative writer who is passionate to deliver the best, latest possible Tech-News to his followers and subscribers. He completed his masters in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, certified in IPR, T.Q.M. & ISO 9001:2008 In Quality Management Systems.

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