JioPhone effect: Airtel to launch Rs. 2,000 smartphone next month
Intensifying the ongoing war between telecom biggies, Airtel has decided to take on the JioPhone with an affordable smartphone. After challenging Jio with its recharge offers and plans, Bharti Airtel is going to launch a 4G VoLTE phone at Rs. 2,000 or less to counter JioPhone. Airtel is already in talks with handset-makers; the phone could be launched next month, before Diwali. Know more!
In July, Reliance Jio announced that JioPhone bookings would start on 24 August and that the phone would be available from September. Around six million people have already booked the JioPhone that offers free SMS and voice calls, unlimited data at Rs. 153/month.
Airtel's phone would come with bundled data and voice calling, similar to what JioPhone offers. However, sources say, unlike JioPhone that runs on custom OS restricting installation of apps, Airtel's dual-SIM smartphone would provide normal experience while running on Android. The phone is likely to sport a 4-inch screen, 1GB RAM, front and rear cameras, and a 1600mAh battery.
Airtel has not revealed many of the phone's details like the name of the phone manufacturer it has negotiated with, or the promotional offers it is going to offer, etc. However, the telecom giant would co-promote its 4G VoLTE smartphone with the device maker. After being launched next month, Airtel's yet-to-be-named phones are expected to be available by 2017 end.
JioPhone will probably have an app "wall garden," meaning you can't use any app other than what Jio allows on this phone. Airtel's will have no such boundaries. Airtel's phone will have 1GB RAM, whereas, JioPhone has 512MB RAM. JioPhone's KaiOS is a forked version of Firefox OS, which has certain limitations. Airtel's will probably not have such limitations. Both will support 4G VoLTE.
Following the launch of JioPhone, Idea announced it would launch a better smartphone at around Rs. 2,500. Idea said it was in talks with phone-makers for the affordable phone that would offer various choices to users: from choosing operators of their choice to apps they want to use. At the time, Idea said it wants to reduce the price-gap between entry-level smartphones and JioPhone.