Arch rival and one of the country’s biggest telecom operator Airtel has welcomed Reliance’s new affordable smartphone JioPhone Next. “Airtel welcomes the low-end smartphone initiative from Reliance Jio and Google. We support every effort that triggers the upgradation of feature phones to smartphones so as to bring more Indians online,” the company said in a statement.
In a tongue-in-cheek statement it added that as entry-level samrtphone users go up the ladder, they go for Airtel’s network. “Our experience has shown that as customers with entry-level devices upgrade to quality smartphones (priced over Rs 7,000) they demonstrate a strong preference for Airtel’s brand and network. In the long run this complements our strategy of focusing on quality customers with world-class services.”
The company further added that it will offer easy financing options to customers to buy quality smartphones and that it will strengthen its partner ecosystem for the same. “Airtel will continue to work with device manufacturers to make quality smartphones accessible for customers through innovative financing and bundling offers. In doing so, Airtel will strengthen the efforts of all our partners in the ecosystem,” said Airtel.
This means that in the coming days we may see Airtel partnering with smartphone brands to offer easy finace option along with bundled data plans to buyers. The company already has such plans for Apple iPhones.