Earlier this month Airtel announced the launch of the Karbonn A40 Indian phone for the feature phone segment in a bid to take on the Reliance JioPhone. And now, it is rumored to be working with another local handset maker Lava for a second low-cost 4G VoLTE smartphone that could retail at an “effective price” of Rs 1,699. Similar to the Karbonn A40 Indian, the Lava phone would also be launched with bundled data and voice benefits, 91Mobiles reported. Also Read - Best Vodafone-idea (Vi) prepaid plans under Rs 100: List of plans, unlimited data, voice calls, moreAlso Read - Micromax Airfunk 1, Airfunk 1 Pro starting at Rs 1,299 launched in India
The report further states that the actual price of the handset would be Rs 3,500, but buyers would be rewarded with cashbacks after a specific period of usage, thus reducing the “effective price” of the phone to Rs 1,699. The Karbonn A40 Indian, meanwhile, is available at an effective price of Rs 1,399, while the JioPhone that started the revolution in the sub-Rs 3,000 segment of the market is effectively “free”, and buyers can return the phone after three years to get the entire Rs 1,500 (down payment) refunded. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio effect: Airtel, Karbonn Mobiles partner to offer 4G smartphones at the price of a feature phone Also Read - Micromax In 2b first impressions: A decent desi phone at budget
Unlike the JioPhone though, the Airtel-Lava phone would be running on Android. It is likely to feature a 4.5-inch or 5-inch display as compared to the 4-inch screen on the Karbonn A40 Indian. The latter features Android 7.0 Nougat, a 1.3GHz quad-core SoC, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, a 2-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front shooter, and a 1,400mAh battery. And the Lava phone could also sport the same features, reports claim. Moreover, Airtel is rumored to be partnering a third Indian handset maker for another device targeting the same segment of the marker. ALSO READ: Reliance JioPhone vs Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian: Price, specifications and tariff compared
This increased activity in the low-cost smartphone and feature phone segment in India was triggered by the launch of JioPhone, which recorded six million pre-orders. It cracked open a market that has nearly 500 million customers, yet very little innovation. Now, even state-owned BSNL as well incumbent Vodafone have partnered with leading Indian smartphone manufacturer Micromax for similar devices to lure budget customers. As a result, upgrade cycles are likely to get shorter, and more new devices would keep hitting the market at regular intervals.