After cannibalising the feature phone segment with ultra-affordable 4G VoLTE-enabled devices, Reliance Jio Infocomm is now working to bring an affordable smartphone with large screen size. This device would cater to a large section of mobile phone customers, who aspire to move from feature phones to smartphones, according to a news report in the Economic Times.
Speaking to the Economic Times, Sunil Dutt, head sales, channel development at Reliance Jio said that the company is trying to work with partners who can bring in large-screen phones at an affordable price for customers who are yet to make a shift to 4G smartphones. This step would enable a large section of mobile phone users to experience the right kind of connectivity and right kind of content on their devices. Although there is no timeline decided for the launch, Dutt said that the company will keep on rolling out something new in every few months.
Since its inception, Jio has partnered with several smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, Intex, Xiaomi, etc. to provide additional data offers bundled with smartphones that helped the company scale its user base in the country. This year, in partnership with smartphone makers, the company also announced an instant cashback offer, providing instant cashback in the form of recharge vouchers to Jio customers, making phones affordable by bringing down the effective cost.
In retrospect, Jio launched the first 4G-VoLTE enabled feature phone in the country in 2016. Named JioPhone, the feature phone was touted as a feature-rich phone loaded with smartphone-like features such as music and video playback capabilities, fast internet support, access to Jio apps, etc. Through software upgrade, the phone was also enabled to support commonly used apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Though the JioPhone and JioPhone 2 offer more features than conventional 2G feature phones, their functionality remain limited and could not be compared to smartphones.
People started to experience content services with high speed mobile data connection, thanks to JioPhone. With a smartphone in the pipeline, the company aims to provide good content experience on big screen device with good connection speeds, said Dutt to the ET.