Reliance Jio to Launch Big Screen Smartphones in 2019: Report

The telecom operator wants its feature phone users to upgrade to affordable, big screen devices.

Tech News
2 min read
Reliance Jio could try its luck again with affordable smartphones.

Feature phones have been a huge success for Reliance Jio but the company is not done experimenting with its range of products. According to a recent media report, the telecom operator is ready to enter the smartphone battle in the affordable segment, which is claimed to pack a big screen and a large capacity battery.

This could be Jio’s second phase of taking over the Indian mobile market, which started 12 months back with the JioPhone which currently owns more than 40 percent of the feature phone market in India.

The Economic Times report, quoting Sunil Dutt, head sales, channel development at Reliance Jio, also confirmed that new products will be launched every month, possibly starting from early 2019.

If Jio does indeed launch these phones, it won’t be the first time when the company tries its luck in the segment. Reliance Jio, during its initial days had launched a slew of Lyf phones, starting from Rs 2,999 and going up to Rs 20,000 but it’s possible that competing phone makers managed to tighten the hold with their own affordable devices.

The new range of smartphones from the company, as the report suggests, are likely to be branded as JioPhone but we’re not sure about who will be making the devices and how affordable can Jio manage to go with them.

It is possible that Jio, already partnering with the likes of Xiaomi and Nokia, could ask for the hardware support from them, and bundle the devices at subsidised cost with attractive Jio prepaid or postpaid plans.

This could be Jio’s dual strategy packed into one offering, to get more users on the network and also look at upgrading its JioPhone users into smartphone users.

Bundling phone with data plans has been a hard nut to crack for operators like Airtel and Vodafone Idea Limited and they are unlikely to venture into this space, especially with the current state of the Indian telecom industry.

Could Jio benefit from what competition has stayed away from? Can it lure feature phone users into using/buying a smartphone? If there’s anything that could make this happen, then Jio is probably the only operator out there which can afford to take the high road.

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