Jio Phone has been the reason behind the buzz in the mobile phone industry as it was announced with smartphone-like features, that too for free. Even though buyers will have to shell out a refundable, upfront cost of Rs. 1,500, it has nevertheless seen a new frenzy in the low-end feature phone segment, which has been stagnant since smartphones gained traction. In fact, Idea has already announced it has plans to launch its own 4G feature phone to rival the Jio Phone, while Intex has launched its own model recently. These add to the Lava 4G feature phone already available, and more manufacturers are said to be joining the fray. Of course, not many of these will have the content ecosystem Jio Phone already enjoys. If you are not sure about the Jio Phone, whether it runs your favourite apps, the Jio plans it comes with, how many SIM cards it supports, and have other similar questions related to the device, we are here to help.
Jio Phone launch date and booking
The Jio Phone will be made available starting August 15 in a beta programme, but units will be available in limited quantities. Jio Phone bookings will start on August 24 for the general public, both online and offline. You can make place your Jio Phone booking via the MyJio app or from an offline Jio store (the company is opening 10,000 more offline stores this year). Those who pre-book the handset will start receiving their order in September on first come, first serve basis. The company plans to deliver 5 million units each week.
Jio Phone booking online and offline
For Jio Phone bookings online, you can check the MyJio app on August 24. Till then, you can sign up for updates on the Jio.com website, clicking on Keep Me Posted, and filling the required details. As is the case with Jio SIM cards, you need an Aadhaar number for the Jio Phone registration. While the registration process is quite simple for individual users, you need to provide your company’s PAN or GSTN number if you are a business owner. You will be able to specify how many units of the phone you want to purchase, with the highest tier being ’50 & Above’ for bulk orders. Once you register your details, you will receive the details around Jio Phone launch on your mobile phone via SMS, and on email.
If you do not have access to the MyJio app, you can opt for the offline Jio Phone booking process by heading to an offline Jio retailer on August 24. Remember though, the handset will be delivered to you in September, even if you pre-ordered it on the first day bookings open. The company says it will deliver the 4G feature phone on first come, first serve basis, and that it aims to deliver 5 million units each week. More details are expected to come as the release date draws near.
Jio Phone is free, according to Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani. Nevertheless, it requires the user to make an upfront payment of Rs. 1,500, which is refundable after three years. Regarding the Rs. 1,500 security deposit, he had said at the AGM, “The security deposit is necessary to avoid any potential misuse of data.”
Jio Phone features And specifications
To recap on the Jio Phone, the entry-level phone will come with unlimited voice, data, and texts. Customers will have to recharge with a Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan monthly pack of Rs. 153, which will give them free voice, texts, unlimited data (high-speed data capped at 500MB per day), and free access to Jio apps for 28 days. At the 40th AGM, Ambani also announced an accessory “Jio Phone TV-Cable” that will allow users to connect their phones with any kind of television sets. For connecting phone to TV, users will have to recharge with Rs. 309 per month pack for large screen.
Talking about Jio Phone features, the device comes with an alphanumeric keypad, 2.4-inch display with QVGA display, microSD card slot, torchlight, FM radio. It will be a single SIM handset that works only on 4G VoLTE networks. The phone supports voice commands and 22 Indian languages, and has a panic button as well. A short demo of the voice command feature on Jio Phone was showcased during the keynote presentation where the device was able to play music via Jio Music. Additionally, the handset will also come with a panic button that is enabled when long-pressing the number 5. Moreover, the Jio phone will come with advanced NFC support for digital payments that will be rolled out to users via OTA software upgrade. Qualcomm and Spreadtrum have confirmed their chips power the new feature phone.
The phone does not have WhatsApp support at the moment, though we did catch glimpse of a web browser, Facebook, and PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat broadcast during the unveiling at the Reliance AGM.
According to analysts, Reliance Jio aims to reach another 100 million users with its new feature phone; this will be in addition to the 125 million users that already use the Jio telecom network. Moreover, the 4G VoLTE-enabled feature phone will completely change the low-end phone segment and bring about a new era of innovation in this segment. On the other hand, industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has termed the Rs. 0 pricing a clever marketing move by the company and attempt to save government levies like licence fee.
Source – NDTV