Airtel has reportedly been preparing to launch an affordable handset to rival Reliance’s 4G VoLTE-enabled JioPhone ever since the latter got announced a few months ago. Now a new report states that the device is coming out as soon as next week.
India Today claims that Airtel’s 4G-ready smartphone may arrive in the first week of October. While previous rumors had pointed towards a Rs 2500 price tag, the latest crop of speculation suggests that it may actually be sold at Rs 2000.
This will make it more competitive against the ‘Rs 0’ JioPhone. Reliance has promised to return the Rs 1500 deposit buyers have to hand over for the handset at the end of 3 years, but has attached a number of conditions to the scheme. For instance, a person would have to pay a fine if they tried to return it early or didn’t commit to a plan worth at least Rs 1500.
Airtel probably won’t have such restrictions in place for its 4G VoLTE phone. The offering will probably be launched in partnership with a domestic manufacturer and not directly from the operator itself. Instead, the player will likely bundle it with attractive voice and data plans to take the JioPhone head-on.
Also Read: Airtel launches its VoLTE services in India
Rumor has it that Airtel is hoping the triple advantage of a bigger screen, superior camera, and better battery will lure people away from the basic functionalities a feature phone could offer. Plus, consumers won’t be locked into its network for 3 years at a time.