An overwhelming demand for JioPhones in India forced the company to put a hold on new bookings until the first round of pre-booked phones were delivered. And the great news is that Reliance Jio is now accepting pre-bookings for JioPhone again, which only means Reliance Jio has accomplished the feat and it's ready for the next batch of JioPhones orders.
Reliance Jio's home page displays a banner that says, "Come on India. Join the movement. Get your effectively free JioPhone." The timing of this couldn't be more fitting as it's just days after the new telco announced its Rs 49 tariff for JioPhone owners. The banner mentions "Unlimited voice & data at Rs 49 for 28 days" bundled with the JioPhone to attract customers.
The so-called "India ka Smartphone" is now available for pre-bookings, and buyers are no longer limited to just one handset per customer. When we tried ordering the JioPhone, it gave us the option to add up to 5 devices on a single booking mobile number. The total upfront cost for five devices totals up to Rs 7,500.
JioPhone was launched with the vision to connect 50 crore feature phone users in India by offering them affordable hardware and data. The upfront cost of Rs 1,500 will be refunded to the customer after three years, making the phone essentially free to use during this period. With this offer, the company instantly got 6 million orders in the first round of pre-booking, post which there were no new bookings.
There were several dates on which the JioPhone pre-bookings were expected to resume, but it never happened. During this phase, several OEMs launched affordable feature phones with 4G support and incumbents like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL partnered with smartphone makers to give customers affordable hardware with bundled voice and data like Jio.
After a long, long wait, Reliance Jio has finally commenced bookings of the JioPhone in India, but the question remains how long it will last this time. The fact that it is allowing up to 5 devices per customer shows Reliance Jio has generous stock. But if you've been holding out on other offers from rivals just to buy JioPhone, we'd suggest you hurry.
In other news, Jio has also partnered with MediaTek to bring Android Go-powered smartphone to India. If JioPhone is any indication, the disruptive telco will send waves across the lucrative smartphone industry. It's too soon to speculate, but if the "essentially free" concept is reflected on Jio Android Go smartphone, the company can expect a similar demand like JioPhone. The launch of this new entry-level smartphone is expected to happen within the next two months.
Stay tuned for updates.