The Reliance JioPhone Next has a feature to ensure that buyers who choose the EMI route to get the phone will make their payments on time. The Device Lock ‘feature’ is set to restrict user access to the JioPhone Next if payments are not made on time. Here’s a detailed look at the same and how it works.
The Device Lock feature is likely implemented via a dedicated system application in the JioPhone Next and if you purchase the phone via EMI, you will see the app in action. This includes “Device provided by the financer” banners across the interface that will remind you that you have to make payments to keep using the phone.
The banners will pop up in multiple places and it seems there is no way to get rid of them, even if you have been making timely payments.
It is not clear if the app will trigger a complete lockdown of the phone in case of untimely payments or if select services will be blocked. However, we know that key functionalities could be affected if the payment schedule is disrupted.
The JioPhone Next is priced at Rs 6,499, but users can also purchase it via EMI by paying a Rs 1999 down payment along with Rs 501 convenience charges, following which they can choose from multiple EMI plans that are inclusive of voice and data services. You can read more about the JioPhone Next plans here.
This is not the first time phone makers have implemented preloaded measures to restrict access in case of payment defaults. Even Google was reportedly developing an app for creditors that would help companies lock users out of their phones in case of untimely payments.