India's wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of Jio "intelligent" phone, offering life-long free voice calls bundled with 4G data streaming at an "effective price of zero".
Ambani, who had taken the telecom sector by surprise with free voice calls and data last year, announced the next leap at the company's 40th shareholder meeting.
The phone, targeted at 50 crore feature phone users in the country, will be available for pre-booking from 24 August on payment of a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500. This deposit will be refunded after 36 months on return of the phone, he said, adding that the price of the phone will be "effective zero".
He used the occasion to introduce his twin children, Akash and Isha, who presented the phone features that include calls and text messaging on voice command, Internet surfing and cable to connect the device to TV to view content, including videos.
"JioPhone will make the 2G feature phone obsolete," Ambani claimed, adding that the company is looking to bring 5 million phones to the market a week.
The JioPhone will be available for user testing in beta mode from 15 August and for pre-booking from 24 August.
Reliance Announces 1:1 Bonus on Shares
RIL CEO Ambani says the board has recommended a bonus issue of 1:1 share. This means that all shareholders will get one bonus share for every share held. This is believed to be the largest bonus issue in India.
Pre-Book JioPhone from 24 August
It seems Jio wants to make sure they have enough JioPhones in stock. The pre-booking date for the phone has been slated for 24 August.
The phone is likely to host HTML5 apps which will be designed by India-based developers. It remains to be seen how that works out.
''Free of Cost'' JioPhone
Yes, you read that right.
Jio will offer its feature phone for Rs 0. Mukesh Ambani. The JioPhone offers host of features that offer the following: A distress call system, Jio Music, Jio Cinema, Jio TV, Powerful speaker and Supports 22 major languages
New Data Plans for Jio Feature Phone
New set of data plans under Dhan Dhana Dhan offer announced.
For Rs 153 every month, users get free voice calls, unlimited data, and subscribe to Jio apps for free, Ambani says.
JioPhone Supports Digital Payment
The phone also supports near field communication (NFC) which can be used to make digital payments, just like how Apple Pay and Samsung Pay works.
What Jio Feature Phone Offers
Long press number 5 on the Jio feature phone, and a distress message will be sent over to registered contacts.
You can even listen to PM Modi's podcast Mann ki Baat on the Jio feature phone. Interestingly, looks like the NaMo app will come pre-loaded on the device.
Jio Feature Phone Launched
Mukesh Ambani has unveiled the Jio feature phone. For more details on this product, Akash Ambani will take over the proceedings of the presentation.
Akash Ambani runs a demo of the the phone. He makes a phonecall from the phone and receives a voice text message.
Biggest migration from free to paid customers, achieved by Reliance Jio this year. Jio Prime members will continue to benefit with Jio DDD and EDMV Plans, Ambani promises.
And finally, he talks about feature phones, by highlighting, 50 crore phone users left out of digital revolution. So, the feature phone announcement looks imminent now.
Now, it’s time for Reliance Jio. Mukesh Ambani stating the company’s feat of becoming a big telecom player since its launch 10 months back.
In 6 months of Jio's launch data consumption has gone from 20 crore GB to 1 crore GB, claims Mukesh Ambani. India is the largest mobile video network in thew world. Before Jio, India was ranked as 154th country
The Quint Decodes Mukesh Ambani's Announcements
Jio Feature Phone Key Announcements:
- Will go on pre-booking from 24 August
- Will be available for free of cost
- Consumers to pay Rs 1,500 as refundable security deposit for 3 years
- 2.4-inch display
- Supports digital payment via NFC
- SD card slot for memory expansion
- Torch light
- Supports 4G VoLTE for calls and data
- New set of data plans, starting at Rs 153 for the device
Mukesh Ambani is on stage highlighting the impressive growth that Reliance Industries has made over the past couple of decades.
Reliance Jio is supposedly going to debut its 4G VoLTE enabled feature phone on Friday. The telecom operator is hosting its AGM via different platforms, where Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries will make some key announcements.
The telecom operator has made merry with a truckload of free and cheap data for more than 12 months, but now it is time for Mukesh Ambani and Co to start making some money!
Stay tuned with The Quint for all the live updates from the Reliance AGM, which starts at 11:00 am.