In 2018, we reported multiple instances where mobile phones caught fire or exploded, resulting serious injuries to their owners. However, in a new incident, the explosion of a mobile phone had resulted in death of a person. The mobile device in question is the Reliance JioPhone, a 4G feature phone that is being sold at an effective price of zero rupees in the country. According to a report by GizChina, the incident occurred in Netavalgarh Pachhli, an village in Chittagong and the explosion of the feature phone led to death of a 60-year-old man named Kishore Singh. His wife reportedly said that Kishore Singh went to bed with a JioPhone in his pocket at around 2:30AM in the morning.
While doing some early morning chores, Kishore Singh’s wife heard a loud noise but before she could reach him, he was already on fire and reported that he was severely burned. He was rushed to the hospital where the doctor pronounced him as dead on arrival. This raises concerns around the safety of the JioPhone, arguably the cheapest way to experience Reliance Jio’s 4G network in the country. We have reached to Reliance Jio for a statement on this explosion and will update the copy once they send a response.
To recall, Reliance JioPhone was launched as the world’s cheapest 4G feature phone in India in the second half of 2017. Reliance Jio is believed to have sold over 50 million JioPhone in the country since it went on sale. At the time of its launch, Reliance Jio said that the device is aimed at tier 2 and tier 3 cities where there are estimated 500 million feature phone users. With the JioPhone, the company is basically trying to expand the subscriber base of its 4G users and this new explosion could lead to a pause in its sale.
Reliance JioPhone’s biggest selling point being the fact that it is available at almost free of cost to the customer. The feature phone was launched at a retail price of Rs 1,500 but customers can get that money as refund in the installment of Rs 500 after first 18 months of purchase and Rs 1,000 after 36 months of purchase. The cashback is applicable only when customers get the cashback only if they make mandatory recharge of certain amount every month. JioPhone’s success has made Reliance Jio the biggest feature phone brand in the country.
Reliance Jio is likely to investigate whether the explosion is caused by a battery failure or because of thermal conditions. It is also not clear whether the battery inside the device was replaced by the customer. After the incident, many villagers are believed to have stopped using their JioPhone and have termed it as of poor quality. GizChina further reports that local authorities have began an investigation but Reliance Jio is yet to offer a formal statement on the incident. Source: BGR India