India needs more affordable 5G smartphones to ensure that telecom operators can make their return on 5G investments as fast as possible. Jio is also in the smartphone business. The telco had launched an affordable 4G smartphone in partnership with Google. Thus, an affordable 5G phone is also expected sometime in the future. A Counterpoint Research report mentions that Jio will aim to deliver a sub-Rs 12,000 5G phone once the 5G coverage in India expands and is attracting a broader 4G user base. This means that it would be only after some time that we will get to see an affordable 5G smartphone from Reliance Jio.
Jio to Launch a 5G Smartphone with 5G mmWave + sub-6 GHz Band Support in 2024
The report mentions that Jio would also be compelled to launch a 5G smartphone that would come with support for both the 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands at some point in 2024. This is important to note because right now, the smartphones in the market don't support mmWave bands. Most consumers won't even require connecting to a mmWave band network for ultra-fast speeds as there might not be any serious use cases for that.
Jio launched the JioPhone Next in 2021 for around Rs 6000. This is not a price range that the company would be able to achieve for its 5G smartphone because of the rise in the cost of components and shipments. The chip shortage is still there and is expected to be present in the coming years as well. It would keep the price of the chips inflated.
You can buy the JioPhone Next from the official website of Jio or through a retailer nearby. It will be interesting to see how many devices will support Jio's 5G SA whenever it launches in India. PM Modi is expected to launch 5G in October 2022.