Reliance Jio has reportedly halted the production of its popular JioPhone as Mukesh Ambani is now looking to venture into the low-cost smartphone market.
According to a report by Factor Daily, the company has stopped the production of JioPhone as it is in talks to bring out an Android-based smartphone. The report further highlights that the brand is in negotiations with Google to bring down the royalty for Android.
The JioPhone currently runs on KaiOS, which is not a popular OS in the market and the share of Android is much higher. “There are not enough apps compatible with KaiOS but people are working on developing special versions for the JioPhone,” the publication cites a company insider as saying.
However, it is still not clear whether the company will scrap its 4G-enabled feature and bring a new smartphone or not. Also, there is no mention about the pricing and availability of the upcoming smartphone. When we reached out to Reliance Jio for their side of the story, they shared the following statement, “JioPhone, ‘India ka smartphone’ is committed to fulfilling the country’s digital vision. Jio welcomes the initial 6 million Indians who are moving to digital life with the JioPhone and will soon announce the next JioPhone booking date.”
The move is meant to compete with the likes of Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea. Airtel recently tied up with Karbonn to launch a new smartphone at an effective price of Rs 1,399. The partnership between Airtel and Karbonn is part of Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative and the company has announced that it will partner with multiple mobile handset manufacturers to create an ‘open ecosystem’ of affordable 4G smartphones.
Vodafone India also partnered with Micromax to launch a new affordable 4G-enabled smartphone known as Bharat 2 Ultra at an effective price of Rs 999. Under this partnership, all existing and new Vodafone customers will have to buy Micromax Bharat 2 Ultra for Rs 2899 and one has to do a minimum recharge of Rs 150 per month for 36 months. At the end of 18 months, users will get a cashback of Rs 900 and after another 18 months, users will get a cashback of Rs 1000.
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Idea Cellular is not far behind and the company is reportedly working on a new 4G smartphone to compete with other operators. According to a report, both Vodafone and Idea in talks with Lava and Karbonn to jointly launch a new series of smartphones under Rs 1,500 price range.