The Reliance JioPhone Next has a function that ensures consumers who pick the EMI option for the phone complete their payments on time. If payments are not paid on time, the Device Lock ‘feature’ restricts user access to the JioPhone Next. Here’s a more in-depth look at how it works.
The Device Lock functionality is most likely implemented in the JioPhone Next via a separate system programme, and if you buy the phone on EMI, you will see the app in operation. This includes banners across the interface that say “Device provided by the financer” and remind you that you need to make payments to keep using the phone.
The banners will appear in many locations, and it appears that there is no way to remove them, even if you have been paying on-time payments.
It is unclear if the programme would cause a total shutdown of the phone if payments are not made on time, or whether only some services will be disabled. However, we are aware that if the payment schedule is disturbed, essential capabilities may be jeopardised.
This is not the first time that phone manufacturers have employed pre-installed mechanisms to restrict access in the event of a payment failure. Even Google was said to be working on a creditor app that would allow businesses to lock customers out of their phones in the event of late payments.