Airtel is unsure about JioPhone Next will attract users

Airtel is unsure about JioPhone Next will attract users

Jio’s Google-backed smartphone went on sale. The JioPhone Following is priced at Rs 6499, but consumers can purchase the device for Rs 1,999 and pay the rest in simple EMIs over the next 18 or 24 months.

“I’m not too sure if the new 4G device (read: JioPhone Next) will drive feature phone users to upgrade in a major way as smartphone prices, including those of 4G devices priced up to Rs 12,000 have risen sharply due to high input costs chipset costs, memory and screen prices have all gone up,” Vittal said at Bharti Airtel’s fiscal second-quarter earnings call Wednesday.

Airtel introduced a Rs 6000 cashback offer last month for users who purchase smartphones up to Rs 12000. To receive the Rs 6000 cashback benefit, an Airtel user must continuously recharge with an Airtel prepaid pack of Rs 249 or above for 36 months, as per pack validity. The cashback would be given to the customer in two instalments: Rs 2000 after 18 months or 1.5 years and the rest Rs 4000 after 36 months or three years. Users may visit Airtel’s website to learn more about the initiative and see a list of eligible devices.

Reliance’s low-cost smartphone JioPhone Next will go on sale for the first time today. The JioPhone Next is available at retail stores throughout India. Users must first register for the phone using WhatsApp or the Jio website. Users will be unable to purchase the phone unless they first register for it online. Reliance’s JioPhone Next intends to provide inexpensive handsets with 4G connection to people across India.

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