Reliance Jio today announced the launch of its much rumoured 4G feature phone, which is named as JioPhone. Along with that the telco has announced its cable TV device.
The JioPhone will be available for free but buyers will have to deposit a fee of Rs 1500 which will be refundable after three years on returning the phone. This means the phone will be available at an effective price of zero.
“Today, I am delighted to announce that JioPhone will be available to all Indians for an effective price of – Rs 0,” said Mukesh Ambani amid thunderous applause from the shareholders. “A JioPhone user can use the JioPhone for 36 months, and can get a full refund of the security deposit of Rs 1,500 by returning the used JioPhone. Net-net, you pay nothing for the JioPhone,” he added.
The phone was launched at the 40th AGM meet of RIL. Mukesh Ambani used the occasion to introduce his twin children, Akash and Isha, who presented the phone features that include calls and text messaging on voice command, Internet surfing and cable to connect the device to TV to view content, including videos.
“It is made in India by the young Indian,” Esha Ambani told announcing the launch of the phone.
JioPhone will be available for beta testing this 15th August, while pre booking will start from 24th August; physically it will available from September this year.
Jio termed it as “India ka smartphone”.
The feature phone comes preloaded with all Jio applications like Jio Cinema, Jio Music etc.
The phone comes with:
1) Alpha numeric keypad
2) 2.4 inch QVGA display
3) FM radio
4) Torch light
5) Headphone jack
6) SD card slot
7) Battery with charger
8) Four way navigation system
9) Phone contact book
10) Call history facility
11) Jio apps
12) Microphone and speaker
13) Inbuilt Ringtones
At the AGM meet, Mukesh Ambani said that voice calling will always be free for JioPhone customers.
“JioPhone will make the 2G feature phone obsolete,” Ambani claimed, adding that the company is looking to bring 5 million phones to the market a week.
Out of the 78 crore phones in India, Ambani said, 50 crore are feature phones that cannot be used for Internet or data usage. The new phone would give “affordable” device to these 50 crore users and “end the digital exclusion in India”.
“Reliance democratised the equity culture in the past. Now, Jio will democratise the digital culture in India,” he asserted. “Digital Life will no longer be the privilege of the affluent few.”
He said that the phone will be made in India from the last quarter of this year. “JioPhone to be most intelligent, affordable phone in the world — a 4G LTE phone supporting all 24 Indian languages,” he added.
The phone also comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) support and as per Jio, users in future could use it to store their credit/debit card details to make payments, something like Samsung Pay.
The Jio feature phone users can avail the Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer at just Rs 153 per month. Under this they will get free voice and SMS as well as unlimited data.
Reliance Jio, the fourth-generation telecom arm of Reliance Industries, will provide unlimited data on the phone for Rs 153 per month.
Jio, Mukesh Ambani said, already has 125 million users since its launch in September last year.
Jio has also announced two recharge packs – one costing Rs 54 that offers a week’s validity while another comes with validity of two days and is priced at Rs 24.
Meanwhile, the company has launched a device called Jio phone Cable TV that connects JioPhone with any TV, not just a smart TV, so that all JioPhone users can enjoy viewing on the big screen of their existing television sets.
Along with this accessory, users can opt for the existing Jio Dhan Dhan Dhan Rs 309 pack that would allow users to watch almost 3-4 hours of videos daily, of their choice, on a large screen.
To expand its footprint, Jio has decided to create 10,000 Jio offices across India which will act as sales channel partners. The telco will also create over ten lakh physical retail outlets to sell Jio services. Besides Jio services will be offered through e-commerce platforms, Ambani added.