Jio Low-Cost 4G Smartphone On Cards: Will It Bring A Disruption In The Budget Market?


For quite some time, we have been coming across reports regarding a budget 4G Android smartphone from Reliance. The company's chairman Mukesh Ambani announced that its telecom arm, Reliance Jio is prepping a new smartphone for the Indian market. At the time of the announcement, it wasn't known if this upcoming smartphone will be a 4G or 5G device.

Will Jio Low-Cost 4G Smartphone Bring A Disruption In Budget Market?

Following the same, Reliance Jio teamed up with Google for $4.5 billion and this confirmed that the latter will handle the software requirements of the budget smartphone. Also, Qualcomm invested in Jio confirming that the chipmaker will have a role to play in the affordable smartphone on cards.

Given that Google and Reliance Jio have teamed up for a low-cost smartphone priced competitively, it remains to be seen how this device will be perceived by budget buyers in the Indian market.

Do Buyers Prefer Budget Smartphones?

As per the existing speculations, the upcoming smartphone from Reliance Jio is believed to be priced under Rs. 4,000. However, a recent IDC research reveals that the average selling price of smartphones in the country is Rs. 12,000 and the overall shipments of budget smartphones priced under Rs. 3,700 accounts only to 20%.

When it comes to affordable smartphones, buyers are spoilt for choice and the Jio smartphone is not the only option they are waiting for. There are affordable smartphones priced under Rs. 5,000 from several brands including Samsung and Xiaomi that have a lead over the others in the market.

Notably, the Indian handset market is segmented into feature phones and smartphones and Jio has enjoyed a good start with the smart feature phone - JioPhone in 2017. So, getting the buyers of other brands to switch to the Jio smartphone could be challenging and the company has to ensure to attract them with monetary benefits. Also, it is well understood that cheap pricing cannot make a product successful.


Aimed At Realizing 2G-Free India

Well, the prime focus of the affordable Jio smartphone is to realize a 2G-free India. It is believed that this upcoming smartphone can take away a large share of customers who opt for 2G networks due to the additional cost they need to spend on 4G smartphones. By making smartphones priced under Rs. 4,000, the company will be able to grab a majority of 2G users and make them switch to 4G.

Will It Bring A Disruption In The Budget Market?

Similar to the JioPhone that brought a disruption in the feature phone market in the country with its pricing strategy, we can expect the budget 4G Jio smartphone to also create headlines with its launch. However, we need to wait to see what an impact it can leave on buyers. While it can attract the 2G feature phone buyers, it remains to be seen if a majority of low-cost smartphone users will make a switch to the Jio smartphone. This completely depends on the benefits that will be provided and the features that it will pack.

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