Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman Mukesh Ambani took the nation by storm when he announced to launch Rs 1500 Jio Phone. But, now telecom major Idea Cellular has said that it will also launch a slightly expensive handset as a counter to Jio Phone, according to a report in PTI. Himanshu Kapania, the managing director of Idea Cellular Limited, said that the company, which is being merged with larger rival Vodafone, is working with handset makers to launch a phone that will be slightly expensive, but offer customers the freedom of choice. “This new handset will give all the choices to a customer, including to choose the operator of his/her choice, popular applications like Google, Facebook or Whatsapp,” Kapania stressed.
Kapania said the company wants the new handset to come in at around Rs 2,500 apiece. However, Kapania made it clear that Idea will not subsidise the phone.
Kapania said Reliance Jio phone comes with a new operating system, has a smaller screen-size and does not offer touchscreen, as against the prevalent smartphones where 97 per cent are on the Android operating system and have an over four-inch touchscreen, as per PTI.
“We are looking at how much features can be brought down, how much bill of material can be brought down (to reduce prices) and test consumer response in each of these,” he said, adding market research efforts will also go into understanding if they are fine using any other operating system.
The Reliance Jio offering, unveiled before the Reliance share-holders’ annual general meeting earlier this month, comes virtually free for a customer by paying a security deposit of Rs 1,500. The deposit will be refunded after three years of usage. The Mukesh Ambani-led company is offering unlimited voice and data to its customers with prices starting as low as Rs 153 per month.