The partnership is part of Airtel's ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone' initiative, under which Airtel plans to collaborate with device manufacturers to bring smartphones at the price of a feature phone.
The Celkon Smart 4G (which has a current market price of around Rs 3,500) comes with a four-inch touchscreen, dual SIM slots and FM radio. The Android-powered 4G smartphone offers full access to all apps on Google Play Store, including YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp.
The device will come preloaded with MyAirtel App, Wynk Music and Airtel TV to add to the online experience of customers. It comes bundled with a monthly pack of Rs 169 from Airtel, which offers generous data and calling benefits, the statement said.
"We are pleased to partner with Celkon in our endeavour to bring affordable smartphone options to the market and build an ‘open ecosystem' of low-cost devices. Celkon has a strong brand affinity and deep distribution in southern Indian markets, and our partnership will enable us to serve a large set of customers with this affordable smartphone proposition," said Raj Pudipeddi, Director, Consumer Business & CMO, Bharti Airtel.
"Airtel's ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone' proposition has received an extremely positive response from customers and we look forward to bringing more device partners on-board in the near future," he added.
To avail this offer, a customer needs to make a down payment of Rs 2,849 for the 4G smartphone and make 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169. The customer will get a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1,000 after 36 months, taking the total cash benefit to Rs 1,500, the company said.
It said the ownership of the smartphone is completely with the customer and there is no need to return the device to Airtel/Celkon at any point to claim the cash benefit.