Reliance-Google’s JioPhone Next may be India’s cheapest smartphone. The 4G phone, which will be launched on September 10, will have specifications similar to the current entry-level smartphones priced in the range of Rs 5,000-7,500. The JioPhone Next could be launched at sub-Rs 5,000 with attractive finance options.
Reliance Jio is expected to open its much-awaited JioPhone Next for pre-orders from next week. Reports suggest that the company has tied up with five banks to finance the sales of the phone. The five banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Piramal Capital, IDFC First Assure, and DMI Finance, have reportedly each assured business worth Rs 10,000 crore. Four non-banking financial companies have also assured Rs 2,500 crore worth of credit support, according to ET Now.
As per a report by CLSA, a brokerage and investment group, the 4G featured JioPhone Next could dominate the price conscious segment across India. This should help Jio maintain a strong subscriber growth even as its non-traditional monetisation opportunities emerge for its large user base with locked Jio service.
The report adds that the JioPhone Next could run on a customised Android OS, offer regional language options, and a decent camera.
As per CLSA, one fourth of the smartphones (38 million units) sold in India in 2020 were priced at less than Rs 7,500. CLSA predicts that if JioPhone Next launches at Rs 5,000, it could sell close to two million units per month alone. If Jio introduces a locked 4G Jio sim slot, this will further strengthen its lead in the entry-level 4G user base.
Jio currently has over 100 million feature phone users in its fold. The chances of their users upgrading to JioPhone Next is exceedingly high, which will position Jio as the dominant player in the coming months.
One challenge that CLSA suspects could affect the sales of JioPhone Next is the acute global chip shortage. This could have a cascading effect on sales as physical deliveries of the phones could become an issue.
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(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: IST