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Reliance Jio is planning to start deliveries of the JioPhone during Navratri, reports PTI. The news agency cites a channel partner of Reliance Retail saying that the deliveries will begin from September 21. The JioPhone was announced at Reliance Industries' AGM on July 21 as an effort to convert nearly 500 million feature phone users into 4G subscribers.
The pre-bookings for the handset began on August 24 and the company is said to have received around 6 million pre-bookings during the three day period. The pre-bookings were marred by a sluggish response from the MyJio app and server issues, leading to slow load time of Jio's website. The pre-booking was consequently suspended due to an overwhelming response and Reliance Jio announced that pre-bookings will become available once again at a later stage. The report suggests that the JioPhone has over 10 million customers interested.
The 4G feature phone was made available for pre-order against an online payment of Rs 500 and an additional payment of Rs 1,000 at the time of delivery. The handset is priced at Rs 1,500, but Jio will refund the amount after 36 months, making the device effectively free to consumers. At the RIL AGM, Mukesh Ambani had said that Reliance Jio plans to make 5 million units of JioPhone available every week when it goes on sale.
The JioPhone features a 2.4-inch QVGA display and is powered by either Qualcomm's Snapdragon 205 or Spreadtrum's 9820A chipset. The 4G feature phone runs on KAI OS and includes a voice assistant to navigate the device. It comes with 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera. The JioPhone also includes connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and NFC for digital payments.
With JioPhone, Reliance Jio is also introducing a Rs 153 tariff plan specifically for the 4G feature phone. With the recharge of Rs 153, JioPhone users get unlimited 4G data with FUP of 500MB per day and free voice calls and SMS benefits. Additionally, there is also sachet recharges of Rs 24 for two days validity and Rs 54 for a week long validity. The feature phone also comes bundled with Jio apps like Jio TV, Jio Cinema, Jio Music and other apps. JioPhone can also be connected to the large-screen television via a provided cable and users can stream live TV using the Jio TV app. The phone is one of the biggest bets from the company since it rolled out its 4G-only service last year. The company is expected to begin home broadband service around Diwali next month.