JioPhone Next price: Who will really be impacted and how?

    • JioPhone Next price has disappointed many who were thinking the cost would be in the region of 3499, rather than 6499. So, what should buyers do and what of Airtel and Vodafone?
    By HT TECH
    | Updated on Nov 01 2021, 04:22 PM IST
    A shopkeeper poses for a picture with the new JioPhone Next 4G smartphone during a media preview in Ahmedabad.
    A shopkeeper poses for a picture with the new JioPhone Next 4G smartphone during a media preview in Ahmedabad. (AFP)
    A shopkeeper poses for a picture with the new JioPhone Next 4G smartphone during a media preview in Ahmedabad.
    A shopkeeper poses for a picture with the new JioPhone Next 4G smartphone during a media preview in Ahmedabad. (AFP)

    Before its launch, JioPhone Next was touted as the best thing that could happen for the mass of the people hungry for a cheap smartphone so that they could dump their feature phones and move a step higher in order to be able to get a virtually premium experience of a genuinely affordable smartphone. While the smartphone is very much affordable still, but it is far from what the expectations were. Almost everyone was thinking in terms of such a cheap phone that buying it would be a no-brainer. However, now, there has to be some sort of homework to be done to see if JioPhone Next price is worth the deal that is being offered or should the deals being offered by other rival smartphone manufacturers and telecom companies be opted for? Significantly, for all concerned, what is missing in JioPhone Next, is pricing.

    This exercise of checking out rivals of JioPhone Next has become necessary because of the price that Jio is charging. The expected JioPhone Next price was around the 3499 mark. Now it is virtually double that amount at 6,499, While the 300 to 600 EMI options and lowest downpayment of 1999 is still enticing, it does add doubt in the mind. Also, buyers will be locked into Jio services regarding the data plans bundle too.

    Notably, what makes the JioPhone Next special is the role being played by Google in it. The OS has specially been created by them for this phone and the promise is of an exceptional experience for users.

    JioPhone Next sale starts on November 4 and buyers will have to register themselves on the website on which a link has been provided. However, before doing that, users should check out a few other phones and the deals available with them.

    So, who are the potential buyers of JioPhone Next? 

    According to analysts at Emkay Global Financial, the buyers will be mid-segment subscribers. Notably, these customers use mobile phones priced between 5,000- 8,000. While first time users will be boosting sales, replacement demand could be a big potential opportunity to bolster volumes further.

    Will this replacement demand come from within the JioPhone feature phone universe, or elsewhere? 

    With Vodafone no longer being a big force, the likely target are Airtel subscribers in this segment. But there is a catch. Airtel has learnt to wage telecom wars craftily too. 

    Here is what Emkay said, "While we believe that pricing is not aggressive enough as per Jio standards, it is trying to play big in the replacement market and middle-of-the-pyramid subscribers as upfront cost and monthly EMI for the non-data users looks high. Strong acceptance of JioPhone Next in the replacement phone market could potentially pose a risk to Bharti’s subscriber base."

    JioPhone Next not a disruptive force?

    Having said that, the lack of aggression will make rivals like Airtel and Voadafone heave a sigh of relief. A Kotak Institutional Equities report said, “The evident lack of pricing aggression with JioPhone Next is a welcome change and it may prevent any meaningful disruption for other telecom operators, in our view."

    More than that, Kotak notably added, "Interestingly, it also seems a less attractive proposition when compared to Airtel’s recent cashback scheme on a wide variety of new 4G devices."

    Just last month, Airtel had unveiled its 6,000 cashback offer, which is applicable on phones like Samsung, Oppo, Realme, Nokia, and Lava. The offer is on the purchase of mobiles priced up to 12,000.

    Now, what we have to say to buyers is - go figure!

    Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

    First Published Date: 01 Nov, 03:18 PM IST
    NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS
    keep up with tech