A 4G feature phone, priced at little Rs 999 ($12), has been presented by Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio as an exciting addition to their product range. This action is a part of Jio’s continuous attempts to win a sizable portion of India’s untapped rural markets.

The JioBharat phones seek to offer internet services, including digital payment choices, to those who have not yet made the switch to smartphones, in accordance with the effects of the Jio 4G launch.

The new phone is priced approximately 20% less than the expected average selling price of feature phones in India, according to analysts at Jefferies India. As a consequence, they forecast that a sizeable portion of the 22 million users of budget devices will be persuaded to switch to this less expensive choice.

Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio, commented on the launch, saying, “Six years ago, when Jio was founded, we made it clear that Jio will leave no stone unturned to democratise the internet and spread the advantages of technology to every Indian. Technology won’t be reserved for a small group of people any more.

“The new Jio Bharat phone is at the centre of innovation,” he continued, “and it continues to demonstrate our focus on bringing disproportionate and true value for different segments of users with meaningful, real-life use cases.”

Remembering the tariff disruption in 2016—when Jio introduced the 4G JioPhone smartphone at a higher cost of 6,499 INR—will help us better grasp the situation. Even after a price reduction, the demand declined despite an initial spike in sales.

According to Counterpoint Research, fewer than 1% of feature phone sales in India currently involve 4G feature phones. Similar to its predecessor, the JioPhone, the new handset offers a variety of capabilities, including OTT service bundles with Jio Cinema and Jio Saavn, calling, a camera, and the JioPay service, which enables payments through the UPI.

As stated by the telecom giant, in addition to Reliance Retail, other phone manufacturers, starting with Karbonn, would use the “Jio Bharat platform” to create “Jio Bharat phones.” On July 7, the beta test for the first million Jio Bharat phones is set to start, covering 6,500 tehsils or sub-districts all throughout India.

The phone itself is priced at Rs 999, but there are a variety of pricing alternatives available to meet different demands. In addition, there are monthly plans for Rs 123 and yearly plans for Rs 1234, both of which include 14GB of data each month and unlimited calling.

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