The JioPhone Next has been revealed in India and will come for Rs 6,499. The company has chosen to go with a rather high price than the market expectations. The whole aim of the JioPhone Next was to bring a super affordable Android smartphone for the Indian market with a strong software experience. While I can’t comment much on the software experience at the moment, there’s one thing that is pretty unsettling - the price of the JioPhone Next.
The price at which the JioPhone Next has been revealed is the same price where other entry-level Android smartphones are present as well. Jio was expected to use the JioPhone Next as a lever for moving the 2G phone users in India to 4G devices. Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Mukesh Ambani, has multiple times shared his vision of 2G Mukt India. But the price of the device doesn’t justify the company’s aim.
JioPhone Next Price Exorbitant for Many
The device would have made a compelling case if it was priced around the Rs 5,000 mark. With the EMI schemes, customers will have to pay Rs 1,999; add to this the processing fee of Rs 501. It will make the upfront price of the smartphone Rs 2500. The EMI schemes also involve data and voice calling benefits. Either of the schemes asks the customer to at least pay more than Rs 7,000 or more for the smartphone. Some schemes take the amount to be more than Rs 15,000 at the end.
The thing is, not everyone can afford this price. People who can would rather take a decent Android smartphone from Chinese brands such as Xiaomi in the Rs 15,000 price range in EMIs.
With the JioPhone Next, if the device is not decent in software and Android experience, people might avoid it completely.
However, some people might go for the device based on the fact that it is made in India. The other entry-level smartphones at this price range are mostly from Chinese brands. The JioPhone Next just provides an Indian option at the Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 price range. People who can should purchase the smartphone directly by paying the upfront cost of Rs 6,499. It is a better deal, and then keep recharging with their preferred plans. This would also save them Rs 501 that they have to pay as a processing fee for purchasing the device in an EMI.
This device doesn’t look like the one to convert 2G users to 4G. But it is too early to say how its impact is going to be on the market. It will be worth the wait to see how Jio markets it in the near future and how the device helps it in adding new users.