Despite all the enthusiasm, the Reliance Jiophone hasn’t been able to reach the prospective buyers in time. This is majorly because of the wide gap between the supply and demand of the 4G-enabled feature phone. Reliance is planning to shift the production of the JioPhone to India to bring the supply back on track and reach its sales target.
After being announced in July, Reliance has since been able to conduct a single delivery round. There is no confirmed information on exactly when the company is planning to begin the next round, though, some reports suggest it to start soon. Reliance was able to ship 6 million JioPhone units in the first round against the company’s target of shipping 5 million units every week.
LiveMint notes that Reliance has been facing constraints with the Chinese vendor that was able to produce 300,000 to 400,000 units each day. These numbers are from what’s required to touch Reliance’s sales target of 200 million JioPhone units by the end of 2018. These SIM-locked JioPhones are supposed to add that many new subscribers the Reliance Jio.
Not only this, JioPhone now also has more roadblocks in the form of incumbents’ partnerships with smartphone vendors offering subsidised phones in a similar fashion. The other telcos have an upper hand in this case as they aren’t manufacturing the phone themselves allowing them to ship more units in lesser time. Soon after JioPhone’s announcement, telcos including Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL announced their bundled plans with a range of feature and smartphones.
As per the report by LiveMint, an undisclosed vendor in Chennai has already started to manufacture the JioPhone with 10 million units to be produced. Reliance Jio is said to be already texting the prospective buyers to collect their phones from a nearby store after making a payment of Rs. 1,500.
Reliance JioPhone was announced for an effective price of zero where the buyer had to deposit Rs. 1,500 while buying the phone and the same amount would be refunded after a period of 36 months. The only condition is that the user has to recharge their Jio number with Rs. 153 plan every month for the entire tenure.
The JioPhone has a candy-bar form factor with a 2.4-inch display along with an alphanumeric keypad on the front. It has 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage and runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. It comes with KaiOS that supports most of the Jio apps including Jio TV and Jio Music. Recently, JioPhone also became the first feature phone in the world to get Google Assistant onboard.
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