Impact will depend on quality of JioPhone, say traders
The pathbreaking offer of Reliance Jio to give its customers free JioPhone for a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500, is likely to bring down mobile handset prices considerably besides adversely impacting sales of the existing handset makers, says traders and dealers involved in the sale of mobile handsets.
“Reliance Jio’s offer will lead to a price war among mobile handset makers, leading to reduction in prices by anywhere between 10 to 20 per cent.
That will obviously please consumers and end users,” a trader in Habsiguda told The Hans India.
He, however, hastened to add that the exact impact would be known only after the actual launch of the device.
“Other companies will also launch similar products,” he said.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced at the 40th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Friday last that pre-bookings for 4G-enabled JioPhone feature phone would begin on August 24 and device would be given to customers on first-come-first-serve basis for a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500.
Reliance Jio also came out with affordable tariff plans for JioPhone users.
Customers can take back their deposit after three years after returning the device.
The offer is targeted at 50 crore feature phone users in the country who are not able to use Jio’s 4G services now as they can’t afford expensive 4G-enabled smartphones.
Currently, there are over 78 crore mobile handsets in use across the country, but only 28 crore of them are smartphones.
Though JioPhone will bring cheers to those who want to have access to 4G telecom services, its success will also depend on the kind of features it offers. Battery backup, design elements and aftersales service will also play a key in role in driving the customers towards the new device.
“These days, customers are seeking more battery backup in their mobiles.
Normally, smartphones have less battery life, and so, they should re-charged every day.
And secondly, data plans and call cost are also playing major role in customer preferences,” said Ranga Ravi, owner of Feelings Gallery, a mobile handset shop in the city.
However, some dealers expressed doubt whether customers would stick to one mobile device for three years.