Mumbai: Taking inspiration from a raft of most successful mobile applications across the world, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (R-Jio) is building its own ecosystem of mobile apps to be launched with its 4G telecom services in India.
Industry analysts say it is not only a step towards Indianisation of successful and proven mobile applications globally but also a strategy to capture the value chain of telecom and over-the-top services.
While the company has already launched JioChat, which borrows extensively from the existing free mobile text messaging application WhatsApp, R-Jio has lined up an array of more such apps to be launched in the coming months, on the lines of widely followed apps globally such as Google Drive, Newshunt, iTunes and Apple Wallet.
“In April this year, we launched our first mobile application, ‘Jio Chat’… We released Jio chat on both the Android Play store and Apple app store on a pilot basis. In just the first few weeks of operations, Jio Chat now has over a million active users, without any paid promotions or paid advertisements whatsoever. This is just the first public glimpse of the digital capabilities that we have developed at Jio,” Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), said in his speech at the company’s annual general meeting on 12 June.
He informed the shareholders that over the next one year the company will be launching a host of applications, such as Jio Switch-and-Walk, an application that allows customers to copy everything from their old phone to a new phone, and Jio Drive that brings cloud storage capabilities to smartphones.
On news and entertainment, the company is planning to launch Jio Play, which will allow subscribers to watch HDTV content on any device while Jio Beats will provide premier music streaming facility, according to Ambani’s AGM speech.
Besides these, the company has planned to launch a magazine app Jio Mag, on-demand movies app Jio On-demand, online payment app Jio Money and news app Jio News, according to an executive at R-Jio aware of the plan.
“It is just copying the best in the world and innovating it for India—that is what it seems to be doing,” an analyst with a domestic brokerage said on condition of anonymity.
He said most of the globally preferred apps currently have not penetrated deep into India except the big cities. If R-Jio can manage to make these proven helpful applications reach the masses, there is a huge market to tap.
Most of R-Jio’s apps are borrowing heavily from global success stories and built on the same lines. Some of the major ones that emulate from globally successful apps are—Jio Drive built on the lines of Google Drive, Jio News which emulates NewsHunt, Jio Beats which takes inspiration from iTunes, Jio Mag which is like Newstand or Flipboard, Jio Money being built on the lines of Apple Wallet and Square, while Jio On-demand is an Indian version of Netflix and Jio Friends is largely like a Facebook.
This is over and above the e-commerce initiative of the company which will also be app driven besides its brick and mortar and online shopping experience, something that Flipkart has already done in India and Amazon is doing globally.
“Jio will bring true digitization and a transformation of the current television viewing experience, and mark a shift in the controls from the broadcaster to the hand of the consumer,” said Ambani.
However, analysts are a little unsure about R-Jio’s ability to persuade consumers to replace their already existing apps with its apps very soon.
“While R-Jio is likely to have multiple content based offerings as outlined in their AGM, I would doubt the standalone success of these outside the umbrella,” said Vaibhav Dhasmane, analyst with international brokerage Jefferies India Pvt Ltd.
“Versus China, a key difference in India is English language skills where the high touch user base is more proficient, and certainly more comfortable. It is lower down the food chain, where local vernacular is important for the next leg of data proliferation. R-Jio’s strategy in addressing these could be interesting and will certainly be incremental over a data only services.”
He said like most apps the direction would be towards an open usage but more premium content could be closed to R-Jio users and charged (like in direct-to-home TV). That model the competition on the content side will determine over a longer term.
[“source – livemint.com”]