Bharti Airtel and Karbonn Mobiles on Wednesday announced their partnership to bring affordable 4G smartphones to the market, effectively at the price of a feature phone, a joint statement said.
‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ (also called ‘My First Smartphone’) initiative by Airtel and Karbon, is aimed at “enabling every Indian to buy a 4G smartphone and get on to the digital superhighway,” says company.
The statement added that this is the first of several partnerships that Airtel plans to have with mobile handset manufacturers to bring highly affordable bundled 4G smartphone options to the market.
“Under the partnership, the Karbonn A40 Indian now comes at an effective price of just Rs. 1,399 (compared to its current market price of approximately Rs. 3,499). The 4G smartphone is bundled with a monthly pack of Rs. 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefit,” the statement said.
Specifications of 4G dual-SIM ‘Karbonn A40 Indian’ include a 4-inch display, 1.3Ghz processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. It packs a 2MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front-facing camera. The handset is backed by a 1400mAh battery.
“We are delighted to partner with Karbonn to remove barriers to smartphone adoption and enable millions of Indians to leapfrog to a full touchscreen smartphone experience. 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 is yet another step in our ongoing journey to deeply understand customers and bring innovation that delights them,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel.
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 company said.
“In case the customer does not wish to opt for the Rs 169 bundled plan, she/he has the flexibility of doing recharges of any denomination and validity as per individual requirements. However, to claim the cash refund benefit, recharges worth Rs 3,000 must be done within the first 18 months (to claim the first refund installment of Rs 500) and another Rs 3,000 over the next 18 months (to claim the second refund installment of Rs 1,000),” it added.
The company further clarified that the ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/ Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.
Smartphones under ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative will be available from offline stores. As for the after sales service and warranty, it’ll be handled by the device manufacturers.
(Written with inputs from IANS)