NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio on Tuesday said that the popular social networking app Facebook will be available on the JioPhone via a new version of the app which is built specially for Jio KaiOS. The news comes at a time when JioPhone has emerged as the market leader in the feature phone segment with 27% share in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The new Facebook app for JioPhone supports push notifications, video, and links to external content. The app is also optimized to accommodate the cursor function on JioPhone and includes other popular features, such as News Feed and Photos.
“JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to a smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Jio.
“We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone,” said Francisco Varela, Vice President of Mobile Partnerships, Facebook. “Working with partners like Jio, we want to make sure everyone, everywhere has the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being connected.”
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The telco had recently introduced industry’s lowest price plan of Rs 49 for a 28-day validity for its JioPhone users, in a bid to propel the sale of the 4G feature phones and add to its 160 million user base against an aggressive rival, Airtel, which has matched most of the new entrant’s offerings.
Reliance Jio is expected to increasingly add its subscriber share through its feature phone for which it has come up with disruptive voice-data plans and has been working on adding new functionalities in the handset to enable greater access to web and apps.
However, the addition of the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp still remains speculative where the device currently does not support it. The addition of WhatsApp would further propel Jio’s subscriber addition.
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Feature phones happen to be attractive proposition for rural users, being economical and with limited and useful features; and with low tariffs and effectively zero cost handset JioPhone is expected to further gain market share.