The Jio Phone and the JioPhone 2 successfully revived the feature phone market in India. Now Google may have just challenged the Reliance Jio’s devices with an even more affordable 4G capable device. The WizPhone WP006, which could be available for less than INR 500, may be the true ‘JioPhone Killer’.
Reliance Jio initially launched the first generation of Jio Phone and then subsequently offered the JioPhone 2. Both the devices have allowed the company to capture majority of the feature phone market share in a very short amount of time. Although there are a few 4G capable feature phones from other manufacturers, including Nokia and Xiaomi, they are no match to the devices offered by Reliance Jio owing primarily to the price difference.
However, a chain of events strongly indicate that Google could be gearing up to take on the JioPhone with a very similar offering. Surprisingly, if the global internet and search giant brings the device to India, it could sell at an extremely attractive price point. If reports about the device turn out to be accurate, the WizPhone WP006 may launch at a price that’s under INR 500.
Google Launching WizPhone WP006 4G Feature Phone?
Google is yet to explicitly offer the WizPhone WP006 in the open market. In other words, the company hasn’t yet officially launched or begun selling the device. However, Google is certainly deep in development and alleged deployment of the feature phone.
Google officially ‘introduced’ the WizPhone WP006 during its ‘Google for Indonesia’ event on December 4 in Jakarta. It is important to note that the company hasn’t launched the device. Still, Google’s involvement with the project is quite profound.
The WizPhone WP006 is reportedly the first 4G feature phone in Indonesia. The device is extensively similar to the first generation of Jio Phone. The device runs on KaiOS, just like both the Jio Phones. More importantly, Google has invested in the development of the KaiOS operating system. These aspects make Google’s involvement in the project quite noteworthy and critical to the deployment of a highly affordable 4G capable feature phone.
WizPhone WP006 4G Feature Phone and the JioPhone Are Quite Identical
The WizPhone WP006 4G feature phone shares a lot of similarities with the devices that Reliance Jio sells in the Indian market. The devices run the KaiOS operating system. The devices are 4G enabled and have a 2.4-inch screen, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, 2MP rear camera, and VGA front camera. The WizPhone differs in the processor and battery department. The device runs on an 1800mAh battery, and packs Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8905 chipset.
In addition to the specifications, the WizPhone WP006 4G feature phone supports Google Assistant, much like the JioPhone. But it is important to note that Google has backed the development of the device. The WizPhone is yet to support WhatsApp. However, the device could soon match the Jio Phone indicates a Twitter conversation.
WizPhone WP006 4G Feature Phone Price, Availability
While Google was introducing the WizPhone WP006 4G feature phone, the company indicated the device could retail for just $7, which roughly translates to INR 500. The device may officially launch soon in Indonesia. There are no confirmed reports about the launch date or sale of the WizPhone WP006.
The WizPhone WP006 is certainly an interesting device. Moreover, it is not a mere experiment that explores the viability of an ultra-affordable feature phone for the developing or emerging markets. The device is quite real. However, Google could be testing the possibility of launching the device under its own projects. These projects aim to offer connectivity that’s routed through the company’s services.