India's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel today announced two new 'effectively' low-cost 4G smartphones with Karbonn Mobiles, continuing its offensive in the Indian telecom market that has seen an onslaught of bundled offerings in the last few months.
Launching the two new Android-based 4G smartphones 'A1 Indian' and 'A41 Power' "at the price of a feature phone", Airtel said the devices would be available at an "effective price" of Rs 1,799 (against MRP of Rs 4,390) and Rs 1,849 (against MRP of Rs 4,290) after taking into account the cash refunds on offer.
Both 4G smartphones come bundled with Airtel's monthly pack of Rs 169.
"The launch is part of Airtel's 'Mera Pehla Smartphone' initiative, which is aimed at enabling every Indian to buy a 4G smartphone and get on to the digital superhighway," the Airtel statement said.
Over the last few weeks, telecom service providers have joined forces with mobile phone manufacturers to bring bundled 4G smartphones that give consumers attractive combination of low-cost handset along with voice and data plans.
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To counter JioPhone, Bharti Airtel has teamed up with Celkon and Karbonn Mobiles to offer low-cost bundled 4G smartphones.
Vodafone India too has partnered with mobile handset firm Micromax to launch a 4G smartphone at an 'effective price' of Rs 999. Outlining the details of the latest offering, Airtel said downpayment for 'A1 Indian' 4G smartphone is Rs 3,299 and for the 'A41 Power' 4G smartphone it is Rs 3,349.
The offer requires 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169 pack, the statement said adding that customer will get a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1,000 after 36 months. This takes the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500, it said.
In case customers do not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, they can also go for recharges of any denomination and validity. But the cash refund benefit will only be available if recharges worth Rs 3,000 are done in initial 18 months (for first refund instalment of Rs 500) and Rs 3,000 over the next 18 months (for second refund instalment of Rs 1,000). All devices under the Airtel-Karbonn partnership will also be available on Amazon India, the statement added.
Raj Pudipeddi, Director, Consumer Business and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Bharti Airtel said the partnerships will help the company contribute towards transforming India into a smartphone nation.