India's largest operator Bharti Airtel today said it has tied-up with Karbonn Mobiles to bring bundled 4G smartphone at an "effective price" of Rs 1,399, a move aimed at taking on Reliance Jio ahead of the festive season.
This is the first of multiple partnerships that the company is lining up with mobile handset manufacturers to bring such bundled 4G smartphone options to the market, Airtel said.
While Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio announced in July an Internet-enabled feature phone for a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500, Airtel said its partnership brings an "affordable" 4G smartphone to the market "effectively at the price of a feature phone".
"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," the Airtel statement said explaining its claim of Rs 1,399 effective pricing.
The Android-based 4G smartphone, Karbonn A40 Indian, has dual SIM slots and access to popular apps like YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook. The offer comes bundled with monthly recharge pack, cashback and data and calling benefits, it added.
Consumers can go in for recharge of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements in case they do not want to go for Rs 169 bundled plan under offer.
But the cash refund benefit is contingent on consumer going in for recharges worth Rs 3,000 within the 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), it added.
The consumer will not need to return the handset to Airtel or Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.
The alliance between Airtel and Karbonn is part of Airtels '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.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)