JioPhone Might Retail at a Lesser Price as Reliance Jio Plans to Achieve 500 Million Subscriber Base

Reliance Jio's efforts of adding 500 million subscribers were boosted by the introduction of the JioPhone. Now the telco is planning to bring back a spike to its sale

Highlights
  • The JioPhone market share has declined from 47% in the previous year to 28%
  • The JioPhone 2 has seen a lukewarm response from the public unlike the first-gen JioPhone

Reliance Jio, in its Annual General Meeting of this year, has made clear that it is adamant on its plans and priority to add 500 million subscribers. To do that, a big helping hand has been the sales of Reliance Jio’s feature phone, the JioPhone. Now, to once again revive the sale of the JioPhone, Reliance Jio might be planning to add more content offerings, lower prices or ship more applications to lure more buyers towards the JioPhone. A new ET Telecom report highlights that Reliance Jio might be looking forward to rekindling the JioPhone sales.

Reliance Jio to Also Make New Apps for the JioPhone

It is also worth noting that the Mukesh Ambani led telecom operator has already stopped pushing for the sale of JioPhone 2, which is the successor of the first-generation feature phone from Reliance Jio. The second-gen phone from Jio could not see as much response as the first-generation phone. Owing to this lukewarm response from the potential buyers of the JioPhone 2, the sources have said that Reliance Jio has abandoned the plans for introducing the third generation of JioPhones, or at least that seems to be the case for now.

Tarun Pathak, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, has said about this situation, “JioPhone 1 has got some good updates over the years. Jio can now start marketing the JioPhone from the apps perspective – for instance, apps related to agriculture, learning basic English, entertainment, which should serve as a clear differentiator to the 2G feature phone.”

According to Pathak, the Jio subscriber base spans 340 million subscribers, and this could be the reason why developers could be attracted to the telecom operator’s feature phone user base as well. There is also the market opportunity, and there are estimations in place which say that the global feature phone market might see up to 370 million feature phone users by 2022.

Reliance Jio Planning to Improve Sales of JioPhone by Price Cut

Navkendar Singh, research director at International Data Corporation India said about this scenario, “Jio can consider dropping the price of the device, but it should also work on improving quality and battery performance of the device in order to make it a better buying proposition for consumers at the lower end of the spectrum.”

The affordability of Reliance Jio’s feature phone was another reason for its success. The JioPhone is available for a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500, and its recharges set back the users by a meagre Rs 49 per month. Last year, the JioPhone’s market share stood at 47%; however, this year because of falling sales, the smartphone’s sales have dwindled down to make up only 28% of the market share. With that being said, a revival in the form of new apps, and incentives might again bring a spike in the sales of JioPhone.

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Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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