According to some recent rumours, Reliance Jio might bring some feature phones with 4G VoLTE support. It is speculated that they will be priced between Rs 999 and Rs 1,500. According to reports the company may roll out one or two feature phones. The exact price has not been revealed by any of the reports, yet it is expected that the phones will be priced between Rs 999 and Rs 1,500. This ‘news’ may come across as exciting for buyers but it is really worth the hype?
According to news reports the new device by Reliance Jio will be a feature phone, which in today’s market is known as a ‘dumb’ phone. Reliance Jio came to the limelight as a network service provider because of its offers in data and calling. Jio offers free 4G data, which can be used by consumers to surf the web as well as video call. But, sadly, feature phones does not give you any of the features required to do all of that. India is still a developing market, even in terms of smartphones, where a majority of the population still use feature phones. So, when a buyer gets the Jio SIM, he/she expects to use it in a smartphone to surf the internet for free.
Interestingly, Jio, which has been very aggressive in its marketing strategy ever since its announcement in September last year, has not said anything about this till now. Notably, the reports which have surfaced have not attributed the information to insider sources, which indicates that this may just be a rumour. Having said that, it is possible that Reliance may bring out a new low-cost device, but is highly unlikely to do so, especially after the lukewarm response to its ‘LYF’ handsets. Jio had releases those devices for Rs 3,000 as a part of Lyf Flame lineup but those phones got bad reviews. So, it will be difficult for the company to come up with devices half that price and still make them good enough.
While you may say that the feature phones can be used just to make free calls. One can argue, that RJio plans to gain revenue from data usage even while keeping its calls free for a lifetime. Keeping that it mind, it makes zero sense that it will let people use free calling feature without giving them the features required to use the internet.
Meanwhile, Google chief Sundar Pichai had talked of how introducing a lower-cost 4G phone would completely change the market, and if feature phones can work on 4G bands and offer VOLTE voice calls then it will be a big shift in the tech world.