It is no secret that Reliance Jio’s foray into the Indian market last year had a (still has a) big effect on the incumbent telecom operators in the country. While the dust is still settling, the new entrant in the telecom sector is eying to disrupt a different sector now. Yes, the feature phone market (no points for guessing). And, it seems like the smartphone vendors are prepping to compete against the likes of Jio already by seizing a fair share of the market even before the telco launches a feature phone.
Recently, Lava, the domestic smartphone manufacturer had unveiled a 4G enabled feature phone called Lava 4G Connect M1. Priced at Rs. 3,333, the feature phone is aimed to cater the needs of people who need a 4G VoLTE capable phone without spending a fortune.
Now, Micromax, another home-grown smartphone vendor is tipped to unveil a VoLTE capable feature phone in April to compete against the yet-to-be-launched feature phone from Jio.
As a matter of fact, both the feature phones are not released yet, and there’s only very little amount of information available for us to comment on either of them. But, what we can certainly do is comment on the pricing. With Reliance Jio, it has always been pricing that made the difference. It forayed into the Indian telecom market, offered unprecedented plans, and within a short period it is now ruling the industry.
We can expect a similar scenario with the feature phones as well. If rumours are anything to go by, the telco is speculated to price its feature phones anywhere close to Rs. 1,200. On the other hand, Micromax is rumoured to price the Bharat 1, it’s upcoming feature phone close to Rs. 2,500. If true, that would be twice as much as what Jio is asking for.
Obviously, folks would choose Jio’s offering over any other phone for the affordable price tag. However, Micromax’s phone should have its set of advantages. For instance, users will have the ability to swap SIM cards as needed on Bharat 1 which, in all its likelihood, won’t be possible with Jio’s offering. But, that itself may not be good enough for people to choose Bharat 1 over Reliance’s offering when its made available in the future.
Micromax has to really up to the game with Bharat 1 to sustain the competition offered by Jio. Will that happen? Well, only time can answer that question. But, what do you think? Can Micromax offer tough competition to Reliance Jio? Will you be interested in Micromax’s offering if it turns out to be decent enough? Let us know in the comments section below.