To tap the 300 million feature phone users, Reliance Jio has finally introduced a smartphone called the JioPhone Next. The telecom operator joined hands with Google to develop the smartphone. Reliance Jio has not announced the pricing of the handset, but it is expected that the smartphone is going to be the most affordable device.
However, analysts believe that the pricing and overall performance will be the key in the affordable segment.
“While India’s digital economy is already on the rise, there is significant headroom for growth. Jio and Google are addressing the critical challenge of smartphone affordability for current feature phone users by providing them with a strong device value proposition to upgrade to,” CMR Head (Industry Intelligence Group) Prabhu Ram said.
Similarly, Mukesh Ambani asserted that the smartphone has capabilities to make India 2G free. Notably, these feature phone users are unable to upgrade to 4G smartphones due to unaffordability.
On the other hand, Counterpoint Research Associate Director Tarun Pathak states that pricing is an important factor.
“We believe that Reliance is going to target Jiophone smart feature phone users first (65 million). That is likely to be the target. Pricing is going to be the key as over Rs. 5,000 segment in India is just 5 percent of the market in the pre-pandemic era,” he added.
He also noted that there is a major opportunity as there are 320 million feature users; however, there are challenges as COVID-19 has impacted these users a lot, which is why Reliance Jio needs to position all benefits of the smartphone.
Airtel Views On JioPhone Next Smartphone
Meanwhile, India’s second-largest telecom operator Airtel said that its revenue will not be affected by the JioPhone Next smartphone. The telecom operator believes that users upgrade to smartphones that are priced above Rs. 7,000.
The telecom operator also said that the JioPhone Next will help feature phones to upgrade and to choose the Airtel network. Notably, Airtel is refarming its 2G and 3G sites to offer proper 4G services in the country.
Why Are Companies Focussing On Affordable Segment?
It is worth mentioning that India has the biggest share under Rs.10,000 segment and the ongoing pandemic has increased the demand for products in the same segment as people are spending money on high-end devices. In fact, leading smartphone makers are also eyeing the same segment and launched products at affordable prices.
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