What is now being termed as ‘Jio-effect’, Airtel partners with Karbonn Mobiles, to offer a 4G smartphone- the Karbonn A40 Indian for Rs 1,399, undercutting Reliance Jio’s 4G feature phone, which was ‘effectively free’, priced at Rs 1,500.
The initiative will see the telecom network join hands with more OEMs in the days to come to “create an open ecosystem of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to market for virtually the price of a feature phone.”
Airtel’s ‘Mera Pehla 4G Smartphone’ initiative, aka- ‘My First Smartphone’, is aimed at allowing “every Indian to buy a 4G Smartphone” in a highly affordable package. Smartphones under the initiative will soon be available in offline stores, with after sales being handled by the device manufacturers themselves.
The Karbonn A40 Indian, which was launched back in the month of July has a market price of Rs 3,499, but will be available for an ‘effective price’ of Rs 1,399. In order to purchase that, customers will have to follow the following procedures:
Firstly, the customers will need to make a down payment of Rs. 2,899 for the Karbonn A40 Indian smartphone.
Then, they will be required to do a minimum amount of recharges over the course of three years to receive cashbacks totaling Rs. 1,500 (subtracting which from the down payment of Rs 2,899 it will cost Rs 1,399/-, hence the ‘effective price’ of the smartphone).
The ‘cash refunds’ will be made in the form of payments to the user’s Airtel Payments Bank account.
Not only this, there’s another catch- ‘The Recharges’ that the customer needs to do!
The users will be required to make recharges worth Rs 3,000 in the first 18 months to be qualified to avail the cashback of Rs 500. then make recharges worth at least the same amount over the next 18 months to avail a Rs. 1,000 cashback.
A user ‘cannot’ skip a month. The recharges needs to be done every month to get the cashback!
While the company is saying users are free to do any recharge, but the company is offering a bundled plan of Rs. 169 per month to ostensibly simply the eligibility. Rs. 169 over 36 months totals to Rs. 6,084. The Rs. 169 recharge has a 28-day validity, and offers unlimited calling (subject to a fair usage policy) and 0.5GB of high-speed data per day.
For other Airtel users(non users of their 4G Smartphone), the plan will have a 14-day validity.
Airtel says the Karbonn A40 Indian smartphone will be “completely with the customer, and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/ Karbonn at any point to claim the cash benefit.”
Karbonn A40 Indian, runs on Android 7.0, with 1 Gb of RAM and 4″ touchscreen, unlike Reliance Jio Feature phone, which is a keypad phone and does not run Android OS.
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