- India’s Reliance Jio network will apparently launch a sub-$70 5G phone.
- The phone is tipped to eventually retail for ~$34 when sales gain steam.
India soon to get a 40$(2,932 INR) 5G Smartphone : Powered By Jio https://t.co/gfsrO3bb8m— The Intel Crunch (@IntelCrunch) October 19, 2020
India’s budget smartphone segment is arguably the most competitive in the world, including brands such as Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo and Samsung, all of which push for market share. The country does not yet have 5G connectivity, but it can still play host to the cheapest 5G phones.
The Economic Times reports that Indian operator Reliance Jio plans to launch a 5G smartphone with an initial price of only Rs 5,000 (~ $ 68), citing an official of the company who wanted to remain anonymous. It will already be the cheapest 5G phone globally by some margin, but it is believed that the company could reduce it by Rs 2,500 (~ $ 34) due to increased production and sales.
“Jio wants to bring the device for less than Rs 5,000. When we increase sales, it can cost Rs 2,500-3,000, ”the official said.
Reliance Jio is no stranger to price cuts, launching 4G Jio Phone a few years ago for Rs 1,500 (~ $ 20) and bringing lots of people to 4G. When in India finally this 5G phone can very well get a ton of people on 5G. However, it is worth noting that many parts of the country still lack high-speed 4G, so if the 5G rollout is equally limited, the network will have a major challenge on its hands.
A ~ $ 34 to ~ $ 68 5G phone will still be faster than most cheap 5G phones. Some of the cheapest 5G phones are banned in China and include ~ $ 240 Redmi 10X and ~ $ 210 Realme V3 5G.
There is no word on the operating system for this apparent 5G phone, although the JioPhone 4G uses the KaiOS smart feature platform. However, Google recently invested in Jio and both announced plans to develop and release a budget-focused version of Android.