As the deadline for the start of pre-booking of its much awaited 4G feature phone approaches, Reliance Jio has launched a massive rollout exercise for the Jio Phone with plans to deliver a lakh handsets everyday to retailers and a target of selling around 4-5 million phones a week. The VoLTE-enabled feature phone is available for beta testing from August 15 to August 23. It will open for pre-booking from August 24. “Reliance Jio has started reaching out to retailers about the handset and has begun educating them about the delivery process. The company’s target is to deliver a lakh handsets per day, which will be done though Reliance Digital outlets and Jio Centres as well as other touch points,” a person in know of the development said. Jio Phone will be marketed under RIL’s Lyf brand and will be sold through Reliance Digital stores as well as Jio Centres. Reliance Digital operates a chain of consumer electronics stores through a network of 1,996 outlets with presence in over 700 cities. The company also has 1,072 Jio Centres. Besides, it will reach out to around 10 lakh retailers for sale of the devices. “The company will be delivering 5 million handsets every week and expects that it will be able to sell easily anywhere between 4-5 million in the first 5-6 months,” another person, in know of the developments, said.
Reliance in the first round will provide every dealer with 40 Jio Phones, which can be availed only through Jio vouchers and this will be on a first come first served basis. The dealer can purchase up to 40 phones in first instance by paying the firm Rs 20,000, which means Rs 500 per voucher per phone. This condition has been set to ensure that the handset distribution is evenly spread. “The money will be reimbursed to the retailer once he sells the phone. The buyer will be making a 3-year locked-in security deposit of Rs 1,500. Of this, the retailer will get back his payment of Rs 500 and will transfer the remaining Rs 1,000 to the company,” a retailer, who did not wished to be quoted, told FE.
“Reliance has started the process of educating the dealers about the pre-booking process as well as on how to avail the vouchers for booking the handsets. The transactions will be done using the BHIM app. For this Reliance will roll out a Jio point of sale (PoS) version that will be pre-embedded with the pre-booking voucher functionality. A retailer needs to download this for making payment on the vouchers in order to book the phone,” he added. To make the deliveries, Reliance has launched a massive exercise by roping in logistics companies as well as its own workforce. It plans to deliver a lakh handsets everyday to meet the expected rush.
“The phones are being imported from Taiwan and will land at various location such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. From here the devices will be sent to Jio Centres and Reliance Digital stores from where they will be directly sent to the dealers. The firm will also use the services other logistic companies,” a senior executive with a top logistic services provider said. The Jio Phone will sport a 2 megapixel rear camera and a front VGA camera. It will have a 512 MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage with the option of expanding it to 128 GB using an SD card. The handset will come with a 2,000 mAh battery and will have a 2.4 inch screen. Reliance Jio did not offer any comments.