March 18, 2018

Jio effect: Airtel offers 4G smartphone at Rs. 1399

11 October 2017, 04:33 | Lucia Cruz

Airtel partners with Karbonn to roll out 4G enabled feature phone; here's how much it costs

Airtel counters JioPhone with smartphone at Rs 1399 net price

'Effective price' of the phone is Rs 1399. Airtel has partnered with Karbonn Mobiles to roll out an affordable 4G smartphone to the market.

Limited stocks of the Karbonn A40 Indian smartphone will be available and Airtel is encouraging consumers to rush to their nearest Karbonn retail store.

"The partnership between Airtel and Karbonn is part of Airtel's "Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone" initiative, which is aimed at enabling every Indian to buy a 4G smartphone and get on to the digital superhighway".

However the actual payment for the phone is much higher. Airtel does not share its 4G customer base. But, you have to do recharges worth ₹3000 within the first 18 months to get cashback of ₹500, and then recharges worth ₹3000 again within the next 18 months to get the remaining ₹1000.

So, basically the customer needs to spend Rs 8983 (Rs 2899 for phone and Rs 6084 for recharges) to own the Karbonn A40 India phone and use Airtel services over next 3 years. Those making the 36 recharge will get a refund of Rs 500 after the first 18 months and a further Rs 1,000 refund after the next 18 months.

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"In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, she/he has the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements", Airtel said. The second phase gets you Rs. 1,000 cashback on recharge worth Rs. 3,000 more in the next 18 months.

At 2.55pm, shares of Bharti Airtel were up 4.23% at Rs400.30 on BSE, while the Sensex was down 0.29% to 31,832.67 points.

Airtel also added that this would be 'the first of several partnerships'. We plan to partner with multiple manufacturers to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an "open ecosystem" of low cost devices. Reliance Jio has already launched its 4G feature phone. Since the Karbonn A40 is an Android phone, you get access to all the popular apps including Google's suite of apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, and so on. The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel.

After weeks of speculations, on Wednesday, Airtel in collaboration with Karbonn Mobiles finally announced the launch of the budget smartphone A40 Indian, which will take on its arch-rival Reliance JioPhone. It has 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with 1 GB RAM. In terms of camera, the phone is packing a 2MP rear camera with flash and a front camera for selfies. It is backed by a 1,400 mAh battery. It offers 8 GB of storage with an option to expand storage up to 32GB. But the Karbonn phone - the A40 India comes with very basic specifications. "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", Raj Pudipeddi, Director - Consumer Business and CMO, Bharti Airtel said.

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