On July 21, India was revealed to "India ka smartphone" by the country’s richest man Mukesh Ambani. The Reliance Jio’s phone has been made to tap India’s non-smartphone users, giving them the privilege to enjoy 4G support on a feature phone at an "effectively cost zero" price.
Reliance Jio's JioPhone
Reliance Jio has named the phone as "JioPhone". The phone features a 2.4-inch QVGA display, FM radio, torch, headphone jack, SD card slot and an alphanumeric keyboard. It supports digital payment via NFC, 4G VoLTE calls and data and a suite of Jio apps, which includes Jio Cinema, Jio Music and more.
(screengrab of a YouTube video)
A new set of data plans under Dhan Dhana Dhan is also being offered to the feature phone buyers at just Rs 153 per month. Under the plan, users will be able to avail for free voice calls and SMS, unlimited data, and also, free subscription to Jio apps.
The company has claimed the JioPhone to be a "free of cost" device, yet it is asking for a one-time refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500 to avoid any misuse of the product. The deposit will be refunded after 3 years on return of the phone.
During the announcement, Mr. Ambani dedicated the phone to the nation on "the joyous occasion of India’s 70th Independence anniversary". The firm has planned to roll out the device for user testing in beta on August 15, while it will not start shipping the device until September, first week. "JioPhone will be physically available to those who have pre-booked, on a first come first serve basis, September onwards," Ambani said. The company is opening pre-booking window for the JioPhone starting August 24 on its website. The phone can also be pre-booked through MyJio app and Reliance Digital Stores all across the country.