Indian telecom operator Airtel is in talks with major smartphone vendors to launch an affordable 4G Android phone. The carrier aims to take on Reliance Jio’s 4G feature phone with this smartphone.
According to ET, Airtel 4G phone will be co-promoted by the telecom operator and manufacturer, but won’t be subsidised. It will retail at Rs 2,500, making it most likely a basic smartphone.
You can expect to see the launch around September-end or early-October as the company is hoping to target the festive shopping period.
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The device specifications are a mystery at this point, but don’t expect much from the phone. Airtel is expected to try and make the phone enticing by offering bundled free data offers.
There is no word on whether Google is also playing a role in this Rs 2,500 Android phone as the popularity of such a phone will also be beneficial for the search giant and help it take Android to a whole new set of consumers.
Industry insiders indicate that the Airtel phone could be based on Android Go platform, which was introduced at Google’s I/O conference earlier this year.
To remind you, Android Go initiative is aimed at helping smartphone makers produce low-cost smartphones. The Android Go software will be able to run efficiently on low-end hardware and highlight apps that are made for lower power and data consumption.
In addition to this rumoured 4G smartphone, Airtel is also in conversation with smartphone manufacturers like Lava and Karbonn to offer more affordable 4G smartphones.