With an aim to counter JioPhone, India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel has finally announced its partnership with handset maker Karbonn Mobiles to offer a 4G smartphone at an effective price of just Rs 1399.
Raj Pudipeddi, Director - Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel said, "As the market leader and pioneer of 4G services in India, Airtel's aspiration is to digitally empower every Indian with high-speed data access. 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."
He said, "We plan to partner with multiple manufacturers to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an 'open ecosystem' of low-cost devices. This is yet another step in our ongoing journey to deeply understand customers and bring innovation that delights them."
The new smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers data and calling benefit," Airtel said.
The company further said that this is the first of several partnerships that Airtel plans to have with mobile handset manufacturers to bring highly affordable bundled 4G smartphone options to the market.
In terms of specs then Karbonn A40Indian comes with 4-inch display, a 1.3 GHz processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB of internal storage which is expandable by up to 32GB via micro-SD card. It runs Android Nougat software and is backed by a 1,400mAh battery. It has 2-megapixel camera on the rear and a 0.3-megapixel camera on the front.
The Google Certified and has a full touchscreen plus dual SIM slots, and offers complete access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook, and WhatsApp. The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits.
Commenting on the association with Airtel, Pardeep Jain, Managing Director, Karbonn Mobiles said, "Karbonn is proud to announce its association with Airtel in order to provide exciting offers through bundled services. Through this association, we aim at strengthening our reach with the consumer that resides at the heart of smart telephony. The real strength of our consumer base being an Indian smartphone brand is towards empowering every Indian with smart telephony and through this association, we want to bring to our customer's full-blown smartphone experience at a price of just Rs 1399. The core of our business has always been simplified technology and we are more than delighted to expand our network with such associations."
However, customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2899 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 and 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.