A lot of people like you have been waiting with great anticipation and bated breath for Reliance to launch its smartphone named JioPhone. Well, here is the good news for you – you can start pre-booking the phone from today (August 24, 2017) itself starting at 5:30 pm. You can pre-book the 4G feature phone at the retail stores of Reliance Jio, Reliance Digital and Reliance Digital Xpress Mini, the official website of Reliance, and on the MyJio app. You would need to pay an initial amount of INR 500. The phone is expected to be delivered by the first week of September 2017 and it is then that the remaining amount of INR 1000 would have to be paid.
Details about booking and other important information
You need to know that the phone will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Users can use the phone for 36 months and upon returning it will get back the security deposit of Rs 1500. The phone itself was launched at the 40th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) held in July 2017. The phone was effectively launched by its Chairman Mukesh Ambani for zero cost with a refundable security deposit. In spite of being a feature phone, this device offers all the functionalities found in a smartphone. It has effectively started a new product – 4G feature phones.
Breaking the digital barrier
With this particular product Reliance Jio is making a brave attempt of breaking the digital barrier in India. The phone offers a number of features such as the following:
- Voice search
- Voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) support
- Near field communication (NFC) for digital payments
- Streaming music, TV shows, movies, and more
There are certain requirements for booking the phone. First of all, you should be an existing user of Jio. Just like you did when you got your Jio SIM (subscriber identity module) card you would need to furnish your Aadhaar Card. This will be needed for the eKYC (electronic know your customer) process.
Promotion as India ka smartphone
Reliance has been promoting the new feature phone as India ka smartphone (India’s smartphone, in English) to Jio customers. As Ambani stated at the time of launching the phone the refundable security deposit of INR 1500 makes it effectively a zero cost device. Ambani has also stated that the phone would provide voice calling features for free and by paying INR 153 you would get unlimited data as well. Jio has also announced a weekly plan of INR 53 where customers would get a similar amount of data. For a two-day period it would come to around INR 23. If you have the Jio TV app you would be able to connect it to your TV as well.
Importance of this phone
Apart from the fact that it is a unique product in itself – a feature phone with the qualities of a smart phone – it is well and truly capable of being India ka smartphone as the organization is advertising it to be. It can truly breach the digital divide and at a price of just INR 1500 a lot more people would be able to avail the phone. The phone may also appeal to the rural market, as it is a feature phone with the features of a smartphone. People would be able to use it easily and at the same time they would also get some new features that they did not get in their old phones. This combination can be expected to make the phone sell well in these circles. Yes, even with its limited urban market India remains a vast market but beyond that is the untapped and even bigger semi-urban and rural section that Reliance Jio will hopefully be able to breach.