JioPhone demand is on the radar of Indian smartphone maker Micromax as it explores whether its feature phone lineup needs to be upgraded to support 4G networks. The JioPhone bookings start online and offline officially on August 24, and deliveries will start in September.
, Co-Founder of , said the company already has -enabled feature phone prototypes ready, but it is unsure whether trickling down such technology in phones at that price range is the way to go. The vast majority of feature phone models sold today don’t offer support for 3G and 4G connectivity options.
So, much like everybody else, Micromax is also waiting for the arrival of . “I have yet to see any impact of JioPhone,” Sharma said. “When they are here, we will take a call,” he said, adding that Micromax is doing well in the feature phone market.
Reliance Jio will begin shipping its 4G LTE-powered feature phone some time next month. The JioPhone will be available to purchase at Rs. 1,500 – a refundable security deposit that can be reclaimed after two years.
If Jio is able to disrupt the feature phone market, it will be a deja vu moment for Micromax, which witnessed an immediate need for 4G LTE capability in smartphones last year and struggled to clear its 3G-enabled phones inventory.
“We were selling phones that maxed out at 3G support,” Sharma told Gadgets 360. “But overnight, the market changed from 3G to 4G. So at that time, a person who had never even purchased a 3G-enabled phone wanted to get a 4G-enabled smartphone to make use of the ‘free Internet’,” referring to Jio.