Recently, Reliance Jio introduced its JioPhone a 4G feature phone costing Rs. 1,500. Reports soon after followed claiming that Idea, Intex, and Airtel too had started working on 4G feature phones and cheap smartphones to give competition to the JioPhone. ET reported that Bharti Airtel is in talks with manufacturers to bring out a 4G enabled smartphone that would cost around Rs. 2,500 and will be launched by Diwali. It is also expected that the company will bundle this device along with data and voice plans to drive the effective price of the feature phone down.
The report mentioned that Airtel will not be financing the phone, instead, handset manufacturers will be making and selling the feature phone with Airtel branding. It is also being speculated that this phone will be running a watered down version of the Google Android operating system, which might be the Android Go operating system.
The report also mentioned that Airtel is planning to unveil this device during late September or early October, with a possibility that the announcement might come around Diwali.
“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,”
A source told ET.
In the report, it was also mentioned that the phone might be manufactured by Lava and Karbonn and will carry a Made in India tag.
Idea Cellular previously also announced its plan to launch the cheapest smartphone in India for around Rs. 2,500, Which will be a 3G smartphone and will support dual SIM cards.