As the incumbent operators look to take on Reliance Jio
and retain their customer base for feature phones, they are forging partnerships with handset makers so as to make smartphones affordable and within reach of a large section of society.
After Airtel, which has tied up with Karbonn to come out with a smartphone
for an effective price of Rs 1,399, Vodafone
has also forged a partnership with Micromax, wherein customers can own a 4G smartphone
for Rs 999.
According to the Vodafone
offer, existing and new Vodafone
customers will have to buy the Micromax
Bharat-2 Ultra smartphone
by paying Rs 2,899 and if they recharge at least Rs 150 per month for 36 months, Rs 1,900 will be returned as cashback.
At the end of 18 months, users will receive a cashback of Rs 900 and after another 18 months, a cashback of Rs 1,000, in their Vodafone
M-Pesa wallets. Vodafone
has not provided a specific plan for the Micromax
offer and people buying the device can recharge with existing offers of the company.
As the company is targeting feature phone users, who usually recharge with amounts starting at Rs 10, Vodafone
has allowed the flexibility for users to choose recharges of any denomination but to avail the offer, a minimum of Rs 150 should be spent in a month, or Rs 2,700 in 18 months.
Avneesh Khosla, associate director — Consumer Business, Vodafone
India, said, “Through our partnership with Micromax, we have democratised 4G smartphones at a price of under Rs 999. This will help fulfill the aspirations of several million phone users across the country who desire a smartphone
but couldn’t afford one.”