Update (30th August): Reliance Jio’s free preview offer has now been extended to 19 different smartphone brands including Micromax, Yu Phones, HTC, Vivo, Intex, Alcatel, TCL, Gionee, Karbon, Xolo, Lava, Sony, Videocon & Sansui. All 4G LTE supported devices of these brands comes with a Jio free preview offer.
Earlier: Reliance Jio has tied up with Samsung, Panasonic, ASUS, to extended its free preview offer of 3 months unlimited 4G data and 4,500 minutes of voice calls, unlimited video calls and SMS, and preview access to Jio apps, a spokesperson from the company told MediaNama. However the free preview offer is valid only on all 4G VoLTE supported models of Samsung, Panasonic, and ASUS. Earlier, in July, Jio had extended the free preview offer to a limited set of Samsung devices.
Jio said it is also in the process of setting up 5 lakh activation outlets and 1 million recharge outlets to support its commercial launch in the ‘coming months’, according to a TelecomTalk report. The company had previously opened its network to the public on an invite-only basis through its employees in May, and those SIM cards worked only with LYF smartphones.
LYF smartphone shipments: During Q2 2016, Jio shipped over half a million LYF models, and restored to aggressive device launches especially under the sub-$50 segment, IDC said in a report. LYF smartphones registered a 12.3% sequential growth, placing the vendor at 5th position among top 5 brands in India in terms of shipments. In the previous quarter, LYF smartphones accounted for 7.1% of India’s smartphone market in terms of shipments. Note that, all LYF smartphones comes with the Jio preview offer by default, since all models support 4G VoLTE.
Other developments from Jio
Flipkart exclusive sale: Reliance Jio is launched its Lyf Wind 3 and Lyf Flame 8 smartphones exclusively on Flipkart in this month. Priced at Rs 6,999 the Wind 3 is the more premium of the two phones, while the Flame 8 is to cost Rs 4,199. Note that, Reliance Jio’s LYF smartphones are slowly acquiring market share in terms of shipments, and the company has been indirectly using this reach by bundling data and voice offers with its yet-to-be launched telecom services.
Hotspot device launch: The company launched JioFi 2, a hotspot device, exclusively for HP laptop owners at Rs 2899 this month. It is offering free 4G benefits including unlimited data, calls and SMS for 90 days under the plan. Note that users need to have an invite mail to be able to buy a router, although we expect post testing this device or its successor, will be available to all users.
Jio fundraise: In July, Reliance Industries said that it would infuse an additional Rs 15,000 crore in its telecom unit Reliance Jio (RJio) through a rights issue, which could take the total investment to about Rs 60,000 crore, during an analyst call. In October last year, Jio raised Rs 3000 crore by issuing secured redeemable non-convertible debentures to aid its 4G roll out. In May 2015, the company had raised a $750 million loan (~Rs 4500 crore) from nine banks on a 10 year repayment period.