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Airtel takes on Jio with its own 4G smartphones at Rs 2,500 for Diwali

International Business Times logo International Business Times 23-08-2017 Purnita Deb

India's biggest telecommunication provider Bharti Airtel, is planning to launch 4G smartphones before Diwali at Rs 2,500, to fight the sturdy competition blown by its rival Jio's decision to launch 4G smartphones at an "effective price of zero."

Mukesh Ambani, last month, announced the launch of Jio smartphones, offering life-long free voice calls, followed by 4G data streaming at zero prices. The phone, will be available for pre-booking from 24 August on paying a deposit of just Rs 1,500. The deposit will be refunded on returning the phone.

Airtel's 4G device will be based on the Android operating system and the telecom provider will allow users to download all apps available on the Google Play app store. The launch will end around the end of September or early October, Economic Times reported.

"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," said a senior industry executive aware of Airtel's plans.

"Discussions are at a very advanced stage," the executive added.

The telecom company is already in talks with handset providers such as Lava and Karbonn for a mass-market of 4G smartphones.

Reliance Jio launches free 4G feature phone aka 'JioPhone' with unlimited voice, data © RIL AGM via YouTube Reliance Jio launches free 4G feature phone aka 'JioPhone' with unlimited voice, data

Both the telecom providers, have similar targets but different strategies. Although, Jio phone prices will be lower than Airtel smartphones, Airtel is betting that 4G smartphones will provide a better consumer experience through a bigger screen, better camera and battery besides giving access to all the Google apps.

"If true, Airtel's strategy has the potential to disrupt the market because at the moment, there isn't a 4G smartphone with good specs at Rs 2, 500," said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research.

Jio vs Airtel © IBTimes India Jio vs Airtel

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