Bharti Airtel and Celkon have come together to offer a low cost bundled 4G smartphone at an “effective price” of Rs 1,349. With an aim to counter the Jio Phone, Airtel has launched its ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative. After the tie-up with Karbonn Mobiles to bring the A40 Indian smartphone in the market, Airtel has now come up with a new cheap 4G mobile. Reliance Jio has already started rolling out its 4G feature phone in the market. The effectively priced at Rs 0 Jio phone comes at a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500. Meanwhile, incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and BSNL have lined up their own bundled offers to counter the Jio Phone.
The Airtel ‘Celkon Smart 4G’ (with a market price of Rs 3,500) is a 4-inch display phone with dual SIM slots and FM radio. The phone has access to all the applications on Google Play Store, including WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook, Airtel said in a statement. The Airtel Celkom mobile comes bundled with an Airtel monthly pack of Rs 169, the statement added. The offer requires a customer to make a downpayment of Rs 2,849 for the 4G smartphone followed by 36 monthly recharges of Rs 169. The cash refund of Rs 500 can be availed after 18 months and an additional Rs 1,000 after 36 months which adds up to a total Rs 1,500 cash benefit.
If a user does not want the Rs 169 bundled plan, he/she will have the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual needs. But the cash refund benefit will accrue only when recharges worth Rs 3,000 are made in the initial 18 months, to claim the first refund instalment of Rs 500, and another Rs 3,000 in the next 18 months, for second refund instalment of Rs 1,000.
The company also said the owner of the smartphone is the customer and he/she will not have to return the device to get a refund. Raj Pudipeddi, Director, Consumer Business and Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel, said the partnership with Celkon forms part of the company’s endeavour to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an ‘open ecosystem’ of low-cost devices.