JioPhone Ripple Effect: More companies plan affordable 4G feature phone by 2017
The launch of Intex’s 4G VoLTE feature phone at under Rs 2,000, likely to be followed by a slew of similar devices, could open up avenues for incumbent telcos to take on Reliance Jio in the battle for 2G users by forming voice and data bundling partnerships, say experts.
Intex’s new feature phone, priced at Rs 1,999 and hitting the market by Diwali, compares with the Reliance Industries’ 4G featurephone — JioPhone, which will be available at one-time refundable price of Rs 1,500 in September. Micromax has also said it will launch its own 4G VoLTE featurephone — Bharat 1— at Rs 1,999.
While JioPhone is locked to the Jio service, the other two are open phones which can be used with any service provider. Incumbent telcos are believed to be in talks for bundling offers with both. Chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications has also said it is talking with handset makers to bring in 4G featurephones costing around `1,500.