It seems like rumours might become true in the next few weeks as Bharti Airtel is now in talks with various handset makers to launch an affordable 4G VoLTE smartphone around this Diwali season. This smartphone is said to carry a price tag of Rs 2,500 to Rs. 2,700.
Immediately after Reliance Jio announcing the JioPhone, Airtel entered into a discussion about an affordable 4G VoLTE smartphone along with bundled tariff plans taking on the JioPhone.
"While Mukesh Ambani-led Jio has announced plans to offer Internet-enabled feature phone for a refundable deposit of Rs 1,500, Airtel is placing its bet on a full-fledged smartphone as it believes people would be ready to shell out a little more to get a loaded handset," cites a report from Press Trust of India.
As it was rumoured earlier, this device will make its debut around Diwali this year along with attractive data and voice plans to lure mass market customers.
Well, this report also leaked key specifications of the smartphones. "The planned dual SIM 4G smartphone will sport a four-inch display, dual camera, VoLTE calling and a longer battery life. The Android handset will come with 1 GB RAM," the report added.
However, it was not revealed when this phone will be up for purchase or even booking. Also, Airtel did not respond to an email sent by PTI on the matter. However, an Airtel spokesperson said, "As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation."
Further, Airtel is also planning to offer its retail distribution muscle to take the device to the masses. Airtel believes that the consumers are looking for a large screen device at an affordable price point. Hence, Airtel's new 4G smartphone bundled offering will target customers looking to upgrade from feature phones.
Reliance Jio recently stopped the pre-bookings for the JioPhone and revealed that it received six million bookings for the feature phone. The Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator is expected to ship the device starting September 21.