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With an aim to counter Reliance Jio's JioPhone, India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel today announced its partnership with Celkon, to offer a full touchscreen 4G smartphone at an effective price of just Rs 1349.
The partnership is part of Airtel's 'Mera Pehla Smartphone' initiative, under which Airtel plans to collaborate with device manufacturers to bring smartphones at the price of a feature phone.
The 'Celkon Smart 4G' (which has a current market price of appx. Rs 3500) comes with a four-inch touchscreen, dual SIM slots, and FM radio. The Android-powered 4G smartphone offers full access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp. The device will come preloaded with MyAirtel App, Wynk Music, and Airtel TV to add to the online experience of customers. It comes bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits.
Raj Pudipeddi, Director - Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel said, "We are pleased to partner with Celkon in our endeavor to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an 'open ecosystem' of low-cost devices. Celkon has the strong brand affinity and deep distribution in southern Indian markets, and our partnership will enable us to serve a large set of customers with this affordable smartphone proposition."
He said, "Airtel's 'Mera Pehla Smartphone' proposition has received an extremely positive response from customers and we look forward to bringing more device partners on-board in the near future."
To avail of this offer, a customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2849 for the 4G smartphone and make 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169. The customer will get a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1500.
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. However, to claim the cash refund benefit, recharges worth Rs 3000 must be done within the first 18 months (to claim the first refund installment of Rs 500) and another Rs 3000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund installment of Rs 1000).
The company has also tied up with Karbonn recently to offer a 4G smartphone at an effective price of just Rs 1399.