Reliance Jio, the biggest competitive threat to existing telecom companies in India, will come a step closer to launching its 4G services in India with the unveiling of its first 4G phone under its LYF brand next week, according to sources.
The phone is being made by CK Telecom, an original equipment manufacturer based in Heyuan in Guangdong, China.
Though Reliance Jio did not reveal any specific details about the LYF phone, it will be priced in the same range as the Lenovo K3 Note, which is currently selling for Rs 9,999.
In terms of looks, the phone definitely is a step ahead of the Lenovo K3 and comparable to the Meizu M2 Note in terms of appeal.
One of the most crucial factors to watch out for will be the display resolution. If the LYF phone comes with an HD display instead of a full-HD display, it will find the going tough in the market.
In addition to the Lenovo K3 Note, the market also saw the launch of the Xolo Black 1X, also priced at Rs 9,999 and with 32 GB of internal memory and 4G support. However, the Xolo Black 1X is a 5-inch device.
The LYF phone will not be the only one that Reliance Jio will launch in the coming days. At least three other models are also in the pipeline, occupying various price bands.
Among the companies that have won contracts to supply phones and dongles to Reliance Jio are China-based ZTE Corp and BYD. Their models are expected to hit the market before the end of the year.
The launch of the first LYF phone also sets in motion the final episode before 4G services are launched by the operator. It is expected that the company will launch services in most, if not all, states before the year is over.
It is not clear why Jio is launching LYF phones so soon if the networks are not going to be ready. It is also possible that the company could surprise the markets by launching its services earlier than the current expected deadline — December 2015.
According to sources, it is also possible that it could go for a ‘pilot stage’ launch involving key customers to test the network before general availability.