Jio Phone: Airtel Working on 4G Phone, Aiming for Rs. 2,000 Price Tag; Idea and Voda Work in Progress

Reliance Jio’s celebrated VoLTE-enabled feature phone is confident to face some competition, with challenger scrambling to hit the market soon with their version of ultra-cheap handsets with attractive features. Bharti Airtel will be introducing a VoLTE-supported 4G smartphone running Android. While Idea Cellular and Vodafone India are also expected to launch a 4G feature phone in the next two to three months.

Bharti’s handset, sources said, will come with bundled offers for postpaid and prepaid customers. The consequent mobile plans will offer voice and data at very competitive rates, they said, adding that the handset will be available in the market by the third week of this month.

According to the sources, the smartphone will come with 4-inch touchscreen display. It is coupled with 1GB RAM and 8GB robust internal memory which can be expanded via a microSD card. The smartphone runs on the Android operating system. It is backed by 1,600-1,800 mAh and the handset will come pre-loaded with all popular apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Bharti’s music and movies app will also be available, the sources added. A Bharti representative denied commenting. Jio’s VoLTE-enabled feature phone is being offered “free of cost” to customers, albeit with a Rs 1,500 security deposit refundable after three years — over 6 million JioPhone handsets have already been booked across the country and the company says it has got an expression of interest for another 12 million. According to market analysts, the price difference between Jio’s device and Bharti’s smartphone to be launched might be narrow.

A senior executive working with a top handset manufacturer, what makes Jio’s phone a hit among those eyeing handsets in the Rs 1,000-2,000 range is that it offers additional benefits like music, movies, GPS and NFC services. “So if there is a smartphone that has 4G and VoLTE and has all these features like Facebook, WhatsApp, etc, and comes within Rs 2,000, I think it could pose a serious challenge to the JioPhone,” he explained.

Also Read:- 6 Million Jio Phone Booked, Deliveries Will Start From 21st Sept. During Navratri

In July, during the first quarter analyst call, Idea’s managing director Himanshu Kapania had said that “the company was working with the handset industry to bring down the cost of handsets by reducing the bill of material, which will aid in closing the gap between the prices of smartphones and 4G feature phones”.

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