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Airtel to launch its own Rs 2500 4G smartphone before Diwali to counter JIO in India

After Idea and Intex, now Airtel is working to launch its own ultra budget 4G smartphone by Diwali. 

The 4G feature phone by Airtel will cost Rs 2500. The move is aimed at countering the JioPhone, a free 4G device that Reliance is bundling with Jio. 

The JioPhone will be reaching consumers next month and seeing the trend and the hype around upcoming JioPhone – Airtel too has seemingly decided to join the 4G smart-feature phone market.

According to an ET report, Bharti Airtel is in talks with handset makers to manufacture a smartphone that would cost Rs 2500. The phone could come bundled with data and voice calling benefits to compete against JIO. Company plans to launch the device this Diwali.

Reportedly, the smartphone will be financed by the handset makers and not Airtel. The telco would only allow users to download all apps from the Google Play Store. The Airtel phone could be launched by September-end or during the early October.

A source working close to the smartphone’s matter told ET:

“Airtel is talking to some handset manufacturers to bring in a smartphone around Rs 2,500, which will have a bigger screen, better camera and better battery performance than what a feature phone could offer.”

The report also hints that the phone could be manufactured by domestic handset makers-Lava and Karbonn.  
Reliance Jio announced the JioPhone – a smart 4G feature phone that would effectively cost Rs 0 to its users. 

JioPhone targets the 500 million feature phone users in India who are still stuck on 2G networkor can’t afford to buy a high-end phone that supports 4G. JioPhone would come bundled with Rs 153 plan that offers free data and voice calling benefits for a month.

Idea which is in talks with Vodafone for merger, has also announced its plan to launch a cheapest 4G smartphone in India – which will be a smartphone not a feature phone like JioPhone priced around Rs 2500. 

The phone will support dual SIM with options to choose between 2G and 3G network.

Intex is also jumping to this ultra budget segment 4G phone market.

Intex which is known for making budget phones in India has also joined the 4G feature phone bandwagon by launching its first 4G-VoLTE feature phone named Turbo+ 4G. It is a part of company’s Navratna feature phone series. 

The Turbo+ 4G comes with 2.4-inch QVGA display, 2000mAh battery and runs on KaiOS software. The phone would hit the market by Diwali at a price of Rs 1,999.


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