Reliance Jio has gained immense popularity within just months of its launch, and one of the most important reasons for the same are its LYF smartphones, which offer VoLTE support for as low as Rs 3,000. However, in a bid to reach more consumers, the operator might be launching even more affordable 4G VoLTE-capable offerings. Interestingly, while the previous rumours have indicated that Jio might be introducing feature phones under the LYF Easy moniker, as per new reports, the phones will be Android-powered. However, the difference would be that these handsets won’t have a touchscreen, and would offer numeric keypads instead… similar to feature phones.
Initially, two phones would be launched between January to March next year, priced affordably at Rs 1,000 and 1,500 – making them the world’s cheapest phones with 4G VoLTE compatibility. Reliance Jio is reportedly partnering with Indian phone maker Lava and China’s Transsion which operates under the Itel brand for manufacturing these devices. The VoLTE capabilities in the phones would be added by sourcing chipsets from Spreadtrum, although the company is also in talks with Qualcomm and MediaTek. The report further suggests that Mukesh Ambani-owned Jio would be subsidising the manufacturing cost, as the phones would cost around Rs 2,500 to make. They are likely to be launched between January and March next year.
While the specs of the phones aren’t revealed, the report claims that they’ll sport cameras at the back as well as the front. Along with offering fast 4G access, consumers would also be able to use the devices to enjoy unlimited voice and video calls for a lifetime. It must be noted that Reliance Jio is the only telco to support VoLTE calls, though Airtel is also planning to launch this capability soon. Buyers would also get a free subscription to Jio’s app suite which includes apps such as JioMusic, JioCinema, JioMags, etc.
Reliance Jio has become the fastest telecom operator in the world to reach 16 million users. This move will surely help it to target rural areas and tier-III cities and meet its ambitious goal of 100 million subscribers in the shortest time possible.