Reliance Jio is planning to relaunch the JioPhone in the first quarter of 2021 in India, according to a new report. The company is looking to reach out to potential users in smaller towns and villages that are still on 2G networks and is expected to launch the JioPhone once again. Reliance was reportedly in talks with domestic and global phone manufacturers to produce entry-level 5G smartphones. Earlier in July this year, Jio Platforms received an investment of Rs 33,737 crores from Google to develop entry-level 5G smartphones.
According to a report by The Economic Times (ET) that cites senior industry executives, Reliance will relaunch its affordable 4G JioPhone in India and will be priced under Rs 1,000. The JioPhone was launched back in 2017 and was succeeded by the JioPhone 2 in 2018. However, the JioPhone faced supply chain issues that made it unavailable for the better part of this year. The new report is in line with an earlier report by 91Mobiles that claimed the JioPhone price in India will increase by Rs 300.
“The JioPhone was last sold at Rs 699, but it will be difficult to match that pricing now due to increase in component costs post Covid-19 and import duties,” the source told ET. Moreover, Reliance aims to launch a subscription plan bundled with the JioPhone which corroborates with the previous report. The JioPhone relaunch could see Reliance offer it with a recharge pack of Rs 125 increasing the price of the phone to Rs 1,124.
Reliance also plans on making the JioPhone available in more than 800,000 retail outlets after the phone remained unavailable during 2020 due to constant issues in components sourcing and supply chain.
The JioPhone features a 2.4-inch QVGA display with an alphanumeric keypad with a 4-way navigation toggle wheel and support for SD card slot. There is a 2MP camera on the back and a VGA camera upfront.
It is powered by a Qualcomm SoC and runs on KaiOS with support for WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Assistant and more. This is paired with 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. There’s an option to increase the storage space by upto 128GB by using microSD card.
The JioPhone comes with a 2,000mAh battery that offers upto 12 hours of battery life and upto 15 days of standby time.