Jio effect? You could soon buy a 4G feature phone only for Rs 1,500

Prices of 4G feature phones currently start at about Rs 3,000

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Last year, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio disrupted the telecom space with extremely affordable 4G tariffs. The company seems to be geared to continue its disruptive streak by launching low-cost feature phones that, apparently, will do away with the need for smartphones.

Business Standard in January had reported that Reliance Jio was considering to launch 4G VoLTE-ready feature phones that would cost around Rs 999, with access to Jio’s high-speed 4G internet, the Jio digital store and play music.

According to a report published by The Economic Times on Tuesday, Chinese mobile chip maker Spreadtrum Communications has said it is working on reducing starting prices by at least half from the current levels, which might bring the 4G feature phone prices down to Rs 1,500.

Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications has a two-year old partnership with Reliance Industries Ltd and has powered its affordable LYF Flame 5 smartphone.

Reliance Jio Infocomm is understood to be in talks with Chinese contract manufacturers like Techchain, FortuneShip and Uniscope to explore manufacturing of 4G VoLTE feature phones, said a Financial Express report.

Prices of 4G feature phones from home-grown manufacturers such as Lava and Micromax start at about Rs 3,000. Both these handset makers, besides Karbonn, plan to reduce prices of such phones further. Reliance Jio Infocomm is also planning to bring in affordable 4G VoLTE feature phones through its sister retail firm that may be priced under Rs 1,500, according to people aware of the matter, further said the ET report.|READMORE…

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