As per the latest report, Airtel is planning to launch a new smartphone to take on Reliance JIO Phone. The Telecom sector is already going through a tariff war. The JIO phone is fueling a second war for the launch of affordable smartphones in the country.
As per the latest information, Airtel is planning to launch a basic 4G smartphone based on Android Operating system and can launch the device in the next couple of months. Airtel is also in talks with Indian mobile companies like Karbonn to manufacture the smartphone in India.
New Airtel Budget Smartphone to Run on Android & Can offer bundled Data & Voice benefits
Airtel is not planning to offer a basic 4G feature phone as is the case with Reliance JIO, they are looking for an Android-based smartphone which will likely come with the Android Nougat and 1 GB Ram to keep the users happy.
Airtel Phone is expected to be priced at Rs. 2500 and can come with a similar business model of depositing the security with Airtel and then use the phone. Or they can also offer some kind of lock in period for the smartphone and consumers can purchase it by paying the full amount.
Airtel can bundle huge amount of data and voice for a year along with the new phone. It will help to lock in the buyers and impact the Jio Phone sales. Though, Airtel should make the announcement for the new phone sooner to spoil the JIO party.
The disadvantage of the JIO phone is that it lacks Android support and runs on a custom OS which is not what most customers desire from a new phone.
Idea Cellular also some days back, hinted at launching a similar smartphone, priced close to Rs. 2500. Idea and Vodafone are working on their merger currently and they will make the largest telecom company in the country.
The merged entity will dethrone Airtel as a market leader and they would also not like JIO to take away the share of voice calling subs with the cheap JIO phone.
So it is essential for both Airtel and (Idea+Voda) to come up with a similar mobile, to take on JIO. Reliance JIO Phone is priced at Rs. 1500 (as a security deposit, refundable at the end of 3 years). The phone will be targeting the 50 crore feature phone users in India and JIO is seeing it as a big opportunity to gain more subscribers.
Moreover, this adds up more competition for the low-cost smartphone makers in India like Intel, Xolo, Lava, Swipe and Karbonn which will now face competition from these more affordable smartphones in the market.