For the first time the company is lining up with mobile handset manufacturers to bring such bundled 4G smartphones. Such types of partnerships can be seen in the future as well, Airtel said.
“The customer needs to make a down-payment of Rs 2,899 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 1,000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500,” India’s largest telecom operator said explaining its claim of Rs 1,399 effective pricing.
The partnership brings an “affordable” 4G smartphone to the market “effectively at the price of a feature phone”, Airtel said.
Karbonn A40 Indian, the Android-based 4G smartphone will be having dual SIM slots and access to apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube. The offer comes bundled with monthly recharge pack, data, cashback and calling benefits, the giant further added.
Users will get an option to recharge the phone with any denomination and validity as per their requirements.
However, there is a catch. The cash refund benefit is reliant to those users who recharge with minimum Rs 3,000 within first 18 months (to claim the first refund instalment of Rs 500) and additional Rs 3,000 over the next 18 months (for second refund instalment of Rs 1000), the statement said.
Unlike JioPhone, the users won’t need to return the handset to Airtel or Karbonn in order to claim the cash benefit.
The alliance between Airtel and Karbonn is part of Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative, and more handset makers will be added to the program in due course.
Bharti Airtel Director, Consumer Business, and CMO Raj Pudipeddi 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.”
(With PTI inputs)