[Exclusive] Jio Phone Lite? Jio surveying demand for phone without internet access

“Jio Phone Lite price will be around Rs 400 and the company will launch a new Rs 50 recharge without bundled data for the handset”

Reliance Jio is working on a new feature phone that will be made for calling, 91mobiles has learnt from retail chain sources. The company is conducting a survey with retailers, seeking opinions on whether the Jio Phone Lite — which may be the name of the handset — will meet the demands of the underserved segments. One of the interesting aspects of the Jio Phone Lite is that it won’t support internet, meaning it will be the first product by the company without internet connectivity.

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Jio Phone Lite price, features

According to our sources, the Jio Phone Lite price will be around Rs 400 and definitely under Rs 500. This suggests the handset could be priced at Rs 399. The company will launch a Rs 50 recharge pack especially for the handset, with validity set at 28 days. This will, of course, provide unlimited free calls to Jio and landline numbers as well as bundled minutes for calls to other networks. Coming to the features, the Jio Phone Lite will feature an alphanumeric keypad and a small display.

There is no information around when Jio Phone Lite could launched and the company could simply be conducting a survey to gauge the market sentiment. Reliance Jio officials did not give a comment when asked about Jio Phone Lite development. However, considering both the first-generation and second-generation Jio Phone models were launched at RIL Annual General Meetings, we can expect to go launch at the company’s 2020 AGM.

A Jio Phone without internet?

Jio dominates the market when it comes to reach, revenue, as well as user base. The company launched the world’s first feature phone with 4G support to reach rural telecom subscribers who stuck to 2G or calling-only despite the advent of 4G. The Jio Phone was a rousing success for the company but there are still many holdouts. With the Jio Phone Lite, the company will be able to bring onto its network the customers who do not want an internet-enabled feature phone.

Of course, the Rs 50 recharge price will help it keep the costs low enough to lure users who are still not using JIo. It should be noted that the operator recently eliminated its Rs 49 recharge pack for the Jio Phone and brought the Rs 75 pack in its place. This leaves the place for the company to introduce a new Rs 50 recharge pack, this one without any internet access.

~With inputs from Mukesh Kumar Singh