NEW DELHI: Will the Reliance Jio-Google partnership manage to take on the Chinese dominance in the Indian smartphone market? Analysts don’t seem to think so. As Jio announced the launch of the first jointly developed affordable smartphone (JioPhone Next), aimed at capturing the large number of feature phone buyers, at an upfront price of Rs 6,499 or a data-bundled EMI plan (18-24 months) after a down-payment of Rs 1,999, analysts did not read much into the challenge. Meanwhile, it has informed the telecom department it won’t avail the four-year spectrum payment moratorium. While the phone aims at tapping into, and upgrading, the roughly 350-400 million feature phone customers, analysts said that the EMI plans – starting at Rs 300 and above – are expensive and not very lucrative for the targeted audience. “It is out of sync of market realities and is priced higher than what was expected,” Navkendar Singh, research director at IDC, told TOI.
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