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Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone: Will Mukesh Ambani announce it at AGM tomorrow?

Reliance Industries will have its annual general meeting (AGM) on July 21, and all eyes will be on announcements regarding Reliance Jio, and whether there will be new products around the service. There’s a chance the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE enabled feature phone will be unveiled.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani will address the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on July 21, and all eyes will be on announcements regarding Reliance Jio and whether there will be new products around the service. For sometime, we have seen leaks around the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE enabled feature phone and it remains to be seen whether this will be finally unveiled. It is learnt that there will be at least one “consumer-centric” announcement by Ambani at the event.

According to reports in the Business Standard, Foxconn is manufacturing the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone, though another report in the Economic Timesis claiming that Intex will be manufacturing most of these feature phones. Indianexpress.com has not been able to verify either of the claims. The Reliance Jio LYF branded feature phone could be priced under Rs 1500, though previously reports have pegged the price to be as low as Rs 500. However, the latter is unlikely given that this would mean Jio will need to heavily subsidise the phone.

But The Economic Times report says the Intex phone will be co-developed with Jio and sold via a “subsidy model”. So in all possibility, this phone will come pre-bundled with the Jio services, and is expected to hit the market in August of this month. Jio will need a phone like this to bring in more users to add to its consumer base, estimated to be above 120 million at the moment.

Another report in TechPP had given detailed images and specifications of the Reliance Jio 4G feature phone, and said this will have a 2.4-inch colour display, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory along with a dual-SIM. The phone could also have a microSD card support along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS, which would really make this feature phone stand out. There’s no clarity on the processor.

The phone will pretty much be custom-made to work on the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE network and will be loaded with some Jio apps. The video watching experience might not be all that great on a 2.4-inch display, but Jio will most likely look at this as a tasting menu for these users to opt for larger phones and better data packages in the future.

For Reliance Jio, which has an entirely 4G VoLTE network, the need to pull in feature phone users is understandable. Most feature phones have 2G, 3G band support and don’t support 4G VoLTE, which means Jio is losing out on a chunk of users. Despite the rise of smartphones in India, feature phones still dominate the market. It is this number that Jio is chasing with the feature phone. Whether this phone is finally announced on July 21 is what remains to be seen.

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