For the Mukesh Ambani ultra affordable 4G VoLTE feature phone, which will make its debut in September, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a light mode version of the messaging application. With a 3 year refundable deposit of Rs 1,500 the phone priced at Rs 0 that comes loaded with several Jio Apps and dirt cheap data plans.

YouTube and Facebook have also supported. Anyway, for Indian phone users, WhatsApp is a big draw that does not have a version that works on the phone which reportedly operates on KaiOS, a forked version of the Firefox operating system.

Jio 4G feature Phone gets a Lighter WhatsApp:

Jio 4G feature Phone gets a Lighter WhatsApp
Jio 4G feature Phone gets a Lighter WhatsApp

Reliance Jio is in talks with WhatsApp to create a version of the messaging service that works on millions of 4G phones that the former plans to sell according to a Factor Daily report.

It will have the first time when feature phones will incorporate the messaging service if the rumoured WhatsApp version comes to JioPhone that has earlier exclusive to smartphone users.

In India, where there is the prevalence of multi SIM phones, and the pre paid monthly churn stands at around 5 percent according to JP Morgan, it may have unrealistic to expect consumers to embrace only phones and get locked in for three years with them.

JP Morgan said in a report that “in likelihood, if the purchaser can afford to spend at least Rs 153 per month for three years, she is quite likely a smartphone user well before this three year period runs out.”

It wonders that how willing would a sub Rs 200 ARPU subscriber be to stay anchored to a 4F feature phone and got gravitate towards a smartphone by adding three years seems a long time to expect a customer to commit.

JioChat, a Reliance Jio messaging service app:

JioChat, Reliance Jio own messaging service app that can have accessed by its 125 million customers. Currently over 200 million Indians and by bringing the service to JioPhone and it can add another 500 million feature phone users that have left out of the digital revolution.

And at the 40th annual general meeting of Reliance Industries, Ambani says that “Even an entry level smartphone costs between Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,500 making it unaffordable for feature phone users to upgrade to a smartphone.”

The company has attracted several customers through its attractive it’s interesting data and call packs with the Jio debut in the Indian market in 2016.

WhatsApp also received a UPI license that allows it to start digital payments. Therefore, to entry level users, the feature phones can introduce the payment system.

Data usage per subscriber has risen over 20 fold in the past five years particularly after the roll out of available services by Reliance Jio.


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