JioPhone delivery to commence around Navratri
According to the latest news in the market of Jio, JioPhone bookings with Rs 500 advance crossed more than 6 million JioPhones within a day of the opening of booking on 24 August 2017.
Reliance Jio‘s sister company Reliance Retail (RRL) also registered an additional 10 million expressions of interest for the JioPhone, sources familiar with the matter said, adding that the delivery of the JioPhone will commence around Navratri in September.
Jio Demand Increases Rapidly
The demand for the JioPhone has significantly exceeded initial expectations of the company.
Reliance Retail has temporarily halted the booking process so that customers are not inconvenienced and receive their JioPhones without much delay, sources said.
According to the sources “The bookings, and the expressions of interest, for JioPhone were received from across the country with equal participation from metros, smaller towns, and rural areas”
Jio Wow Offers and Supports Digitalization
The device, which was unveiled at the Reliance Industries AGM, is effectively priced zero where customers will be required to pay a one-time deposit of Rs 1,500 for the handset, to be refunded after three years on the return of the handset.
With voice free for life, a JioPhone user will get unlimited SMS services and half a GB of data a day for Rs 153 a month – about one-thirtieth the price of data in the market – and access to various Jio apps on music and movies among others, besides YouTube and Facebook.
There are also available sachet options for recharges of a smaller amount for a shorter time.
Through Jio is targeting 500 million Indians who are still on a feature, or basic, phones using primarily voice services and haven’t moved to a smartphone due to affordability or because they don’t really feel they need one.
Interested customers will continue to be able to register their interest and will be notified on a priority basis when the booking process resumes.
“A large proportion of retailers and customers paid the booking amount digitally, thus providing a big fillip to the Government’s digital inclusion agenda,” sources added.
In order to counter JioPhone, Bharti Airtel is in advanced talks with handset makers to introduce a 4G smartphone in the lead up to Diwali for about Rs 2,500, bundling large amounts of data and voice minutes.
Idea Cellular, India’s third largest telco, is also working with handset makers to bring down the cost of handsets.
Vodafone, however, has tied up with feature phone maker iTel for a free talk on devices priced above Rs 800 and is looking for similar tie-ups.
Meanwhile, these top telcos may have opened another battle front, saying new entrant Reliance Jio may be floating the concept of net neutrality by providing SIM-locked handsets which offer limited apps under a tariff plan and are as good as a ‘walled garden’. However, people said the device gives unrestricted access to the internet and therefore the question of net neutrality does not arise.