During the last two Annual General Meetings of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, the owner of Reliance Jio Infocomm announced two 4G feature phones- the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2. These two feature phones were not subjective to leaks before the official launch, especially the JioPhone 2. The JioPhone 2 was not at all in the leaks before last year's AGM, however, the company surprised one and all by announcing it for Rs 2,999. This year, it seems like we'll have a surprise yet again at Reliance Industries 42nd AGM that is scheduled for August 12. According to MediaTek, a JioPhone 4G Feature phone is in the works with a MediaTek chipset, but the exact name of the phone is unknown. That being said, the mysterious phone could be the JioPhone 3 that is expected to unveiled at the AGM on August 12, alongside Jio GigaFiber FTTH service commercial launch.
JioPhone 3 Will Also Offer 4G VoLTE Support and it Will Be a Feature Phone
According to an ET Telecom report, the JioPhone project with a MediaTek chipset is going on right now. This information was revealed by TL Lee, General Manager of MediaTek Wireless Communications Business Unit. While Lee did not reveal when the phone is coming out, he certainly confirmed it's a 4G feature phone from Reliance Jio. “The project [4G feature phone] is going on. We expect devices to be available soon. We are working with the telco, but OEMs for India…we are working with KaiOS as well,” Lee said to ET.
Reliance JioPhone has stirred the entire feature phone market because it offered 4G VoLTE support and affordable tariff plans, which no other telco or smartphone manufacturer did in the past. Courtesy of JioPhone, feature phone market grew at a rapid pace over the last two years, but that isn't the case in the quarter that ended on June 30, 2019.
According to Counterpoint, the demand for JioPhone has come down and the market share of Reliance Retail in the feature phone segment decreased to 28% in the June quarter. A year ago, during the same period, JioPhone's market share stood at 47%. The feature phone market in the country witnessed a massive decline of 39% in the April-June 2019, and it's because of the falling JioPhone sales.
JioPhone 3 Should Feature Something Innovative to Attract Buyers
As you can clearly see, the Smart Feature Phone market which was started with the JioPhone is already witnessing a decline. There are two reasons for that. The JioPhone 2, which did not inspire many, comes at a price of Rs 2,999 without any offers like the original JioPhone. And the original JioPhone is still available for purchase, but it has been already past two years since its launch. So clearly, consumers are looking for something new and we don't know what JioPhone 3 will offer to the customers.
Jio GigaFiber Commercial Launch Expected on August 12
Another service which is expected to come out on August 12 is the commercial launch of Jio GigaFiber. The telco already confirmed that the trials of GigaFiber are in final stages, setting up the stage for commercial launch. The Mukesh Ambani-owned company may launch a cheaper 100 Mbps broadband plan in the industry, IPTV service and IoT devices on August 12.