Airtel has joined hands with home-grown brand Karbonn to offer a full-scale 4G smartphone – the Karbonn A40 Indian for Rs 1,399 – “effectively at the price of a feature phone.” The partnership, which is clearly intended to rival RIL’s much-ambitious JioPhone, is part of Airtel’s Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone initiative. The initiative will see the telecom network join hands with more OEMs in the days to come to “create an open ecosystem of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to market for virtually the price of a feature phone.”
Airtel notes that while the Karbonn A40 Indian normally costs Rs 3,499 it will be offering the 4G smartphone effectively at the price of a feature phone by bringing a tariff plan into the mix. The telecom network also adds that the “ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.” Here is how Airtel is offering the Karbonn A40 Indian – that costs Rs 3,499 – at an effective price of Rs 1,399:
— The customer makes a down payment of Rs 2,899 for the phone and makes 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169. The customer then gets a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1,000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500.Read more ↓
– In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, they have the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements. 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 installment of Rs 500) and another Rs 3,000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund installment of Rs 1,000).
“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. 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,” Raj Pudipeddi, director, Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel said.
As for the Karbonn A40 Indian, the 4G smartphone comes with a 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. The dual-SIM phone runs Android Nougat software and is backed by a 1,400mAh battery. It comes with a 2-megapixel camera on the rear and a 0.3-megapixel camera on the front. Connectivity options include: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
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