Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Airtel India launches 4G smartphone for just INR 1399 (effectively)

Airtel India launches 4G smartphone for just INR 1399 (effectively)

We are delighted to partner with Karbonn to remove barriers to smartphone adoption and enable millions of Indians to leapfrog to a full touchscreen smartphone experience. Effectively, you are going to spend about Rs. 6000 extra after purchasing the phone only to get Rs. 1500 back from Airtel.

In a public statement dated on October 11, Airtel said this is the first of a few associations that it intends to have with portable handset makers "to bring exceedingly moderate packaged 4G phone alternatives to the market and satisfy the digital requirements of a huge number of Indians". It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and is powered by a 1.3Ghz processor coupled with 1GB of RAM.

Karbonn A40 Indian is a 4G smartphone that supports dual SIM slot.

Carbon A40 smartphone will be provided by Airtel at Rs 1399, its market is now priced at Rs 3,499. Through this association, we aim at strengthening our reach with the consumer that resides at the heart of smart telephony.

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The Google certified smartphone will be given to the customer at a down payment of Rs 2,899.

To avail the cashback of Rs 1500, the customer will have to do a recharge of Rs 169 every month for continuous 36 months. You need to make a down payment of Rs. 2899 for the 4G phone and recharge it with the 169 plan for 36 months, and you will be given a cash refund of Rs. 500 after 18 months and Rs. 1000 after 36 months making the effective price Rs. 1399. Rs 169 will give the customer unlimited calling along with 500MB of data per day and is valid for 28 days.

Airtel has announced its partnership with Karbonn under its "Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone" initiative which is aimed at enabling more Indians to buy a 4G smartphone. Smartphones under the initiative will be available from offline stores, with after sales being handled by the device manufacturers themselves. However, to claim the cash refund benefit, recharges worth Rs 3,000 must be done within the first 18 months (to claim the first refund instalment of Rs 500) and another Rs 3,000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund instalment of Rs 1,000), the company said. You will have to get a Rs 153 recharge when you purchase the feature phone. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and Global Positioning System. Unlike JioPhone, the Airtel 4G Phone user can keep the device even after claiming the refund amount.

Jio's disruptive pricing has upended the telecom industry because of which profits of incumbents such as Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular Ltd (IDEA.NS) have shrunk rapidly. The company claims that it takes Rs 3,499 to build the new Indian Karbonn A40 Indian. A step beyond the living is giving the 4G smartphone at the expense of the Airtel feature phone.

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