After rocking the Indian telecom market with the effectively free Reliance JioPhone, the company is reportedly working on a smartphone. While the JioPhone was a 4G VoLTE feature phone, Reliance is now working for an affordable smartphone.
In a statement to the Economic Times, Spreadtrum Chairman Leo Li revealed that Reliance Jio is working on an affordable 4G VoLTE smartphone. The Chinese company is already in talks with Jio to provide components for the phone. Spreadtrum has also provided processor for the current JioPhone.
Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE smartphone details
“Jio is looking at the lowest-costing smartphone possible, maybe a 4-inch screen, and the lowest-possible-costing 4G feature phones as well,” is the statement given by Leo Li, Spreadtrum Chairman. While this indicates a possible display size, the statement confirms the upcoming arrival of a Jio smartphone.
“They’re (Jio) the only ones pushing feature phones this hard. We work very closely with Jio, we provide 4G featurephones (chips) which are the lowest costing in the world. We will be selling about 10 million devices to them by the year-end.”
Spreadtrum holds a major share of the Indian phone processors market. The company already holds 55% market share, out of which 25% is contributed by smartphones. They’re also the manufacturer of the chipset being used in the Reliance JioPhone.
A lesson from the competition?
While Reliance was enthusiastic about the JioPhone, the hype fell as fast as it rose. There are also reports stating that the JioPhone manufacturing has been halted to allow the making of a 4G VoLTE smartphone.
Shortly after the launch of the Reliance JioPhone, Airtel unveiled two new 4G Android smartphones in collaboration with Karbonn and Celkon. Recently, Vodafone also entered into a partnership with Micromax to make the Micromax Bharat.
While these smartphones are coming with effective cashbacks and lucrative offers, there is a possibility that Reliance Jio also wants to cash in on the Android smartphone market which offers greater potential and an open ecosystem.