After JioPhone, Reliance launches cheaper JioBharat phones

In 2020, Jio had partnered with Google to develop an ultra-affordable Android-based smartphone to address the mass Indian market that couldn’t shift to smartphone ecosystem due to the unaffordability. The result JioPhone next that was finally launched last year albeit at a higher price then what was planned initially.

Result – muted response and hence slow conversion of 2G subscribers to 4G. There are still estimated large number of around 25 cr subscribers who are non smart feature phone users.

With these subscribers in mind, Jio is now launching JioBharat phones – which though is a feature phone but is internet enabled. It features OTT service bundling with Jio Cinema and Jio Saavn in addition to high-definition calling, camera capabilities and JioPay service to make payments using the unified payments interface (UPI).

Though not as smart as JioPhone, JioBharat will offer significantly better internet capabilities compared with the existing feature phones to the targeted 25 cr subscribers.

Pricing of a JioBharat phone is low at Rs999 for an internet-enabled phone. It offers 30% cheaper monthly plans and seven times more data compared to the feature phone offerings of other operators. It has two plans – Rs 123 per month, and Rs 1234 for a year. Both plans include unlimited calling and 14GB data a month.

The beta trial for first 1 million Jio Bharat phones will begin from July 7 and will take place across 6500 tehsils.

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