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The pre-booking of JioPhone will start for Rs 500 across its retail stores, the website and Jio App from 5 pm on Thursday, according to a message sent out by Reliance Jio. "India Ka Smartphone is finally here! Pre-booking for JioPhone starts Aug 24 at 5 pm," an SMS sent to a Jio customer read. A leading channel partner of Reliance Retail, which did not wish to be named, said the messages are being sent to all those who have registered their interest in JioPhone. "As announced by RIL CMD (Mukesh Ambani), JioPhone will be given against payment of fully-refundable deposit of Rs 1,500. Customers will be able to book JioPhone for Rs 500 and the balance Rs 1,000 can be paid at the time of delivery in September.
The total amount will be refunded after 36 months when the customer returns the phone," the partner said. Ambani had announced that voice calling for customers of the "effectively free" JioPhone would always be free and they would get unlimited data for a month against payment of Rs 153. Jio has also announced a weekly plan for Rs 53 and a 2-day plan for Rs 23 for unlimited data access. JioPhone, which can be operated by speaking out instructions to dial, type messages and the like will come with pre-loaded Jio apps for messaging and entertainment. The phone can be connected with television sets for watching live TV using the Jio TV app. The phone will also include some of the popular instant messaging and social networking apps, the channel partner said. "Despite anticipation that the phone will hold higher appeal among rural users, retailers from urban centres are aggressively placing orders for the phone. In spite of the floods in Bihar, it is one of the top states where retailers are anticipating high demand for the JioPhone," the partner added. Reliance Retail has a target of making available 50 lakh JioPhones every week from September.