Reliance Jio Phone booking has started. Reliance Retail has begun to accept applications for the booking of the Jio Phone. Reliance, after taking the telecom sector by a storm, launched the Jio Phone to capture the feature phone market. The Jio Phone is typically aimed at a large population of India which still cannot afford a smartphone. The Jio mobile is a 4G VoLTE enabled feature phone which gives users access to the internet at a much cheaper rate. The 4G feature phone earlier went for pre-booking and then sale for buyers in India. However, after receiving a huge number of orders, the company had temporarily closed the sale. But now, the Jio Phone is available yet again and users will be able to buy the device. However, there is a catch.
Reliance Jio has resumed delivery of the highly anticipated Jio Phone only to those 10 million customers who registered their expression of interest (EoI) for the 4G feature phone during August-September. Reliance has reportedly started sending SMSs to customers who registered their EoIs for the VoLTE-enabled mobile phone. If they respond to the message, the company asks them to make an initial payment of Rs 500 to confirm their orders. After the confirmation and the payment, handsets will be delivered to the customer within a week or 10 days depending on the location. The 4G feature phone was available for beta testing from August 15 to August 23 and opened for pre-booking from August 24.
The initial response for Jio Phone has been largely positive. Over 6 million handsets were booked across India and the company received EoIs for another 10 million. According to market sources said the company has almost completed delivery of 6 million handsets with over 50 percent of them going to consumers in rural areas and small towns. Reliance’s strategy for the 4G feature phone is the use of regional platforms to reach out to consumers in rural areas.
The first batch of Jio mobiles got buyers owing to the huge hype. The biggest challenge for Jio will be to convert the 10 million EoIs to materialise into sales and that too in rural areas. The second round of sale comes at a time when there is competition from rivals like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL who have partnered with manufacturers like Micromax and Karbonn to bring cheap smartphones for its subscribers.