Reliance Jio is certainly a company that has managed to keep media guessing as to when its commercial launch would take place. The first credible source to speculate Reliance Jio’s launch was way back in May 2013. Ever since, there have been similar reports every three months, but nearly three years on, the services are yet to start on a commercial basis, except for the soft launch that took place in Mumbai exclusively for employees in December 2015.
Needless to say with so many delays in its launch and so many media reports missing the mark, any news regarding Reliance Jio should not be taken with just a pinch of salt but a barrel. With that out of the way, RTN Asia has some interesting news upon Reliance Jio. The website reports that Reliance Jio is slated to launch its LYF branded handsets in the next two weeks. This is possibly a move to have a phased roll-out of the 4G LTE service, so don’t expect Reliance to distribute the Jio SIMs without these handsets at least initially.
According to the website, Reliance Jio will launch its LYF-branded phones by the first week of February in at least 13 cities and these handsets will come with the company’s own fully-functional SIM cards and 50 GB of free 4G data, according to their retailing sources. The thirteen cities include — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Baroda, Kochi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Indore and Patna.
The currently unveiled Earth series of smartphones that range from Earth 1 to Earth 4 are priced between Rs 10,000-22,000. Earth 1 carries the cheapest price tag and the price keeps increasing in the subsequent models with Earth 4 being the most expensive. All Earth models are based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. A cheaper series with Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 is due to be unvelied and would carry a cheaper price tag of Rs 5000 or lesser.
These smartphones are expected to come bundled with 50 GB of free 4G data along with 5000 minutes of free talk time and 5000 free SMSes. When accounted at the rate of Rs 100/GB of data and Rs 0.5/min of call and Rs 0.5/text, the bundled offers total upto Rs 10,000 worth of freebies. It’s unclear how long these freebies would last and whether every model would have the same amount of freebies.
With rest of the specs unknown, it remains to be seen how good of a value proportion would these LYF devices be. Also unknown is the validity of freebies.