Comparison of two of the most attractive iPhone 7 offers: Reliance Jio vs Airtel

It's that time of the year when Apple launches its next-gen iPhone, and distributors and telcos are out to offer the best possible price to attract customers. Airtel and Reliance Jio have crafted exclusive deals for iPhone 7 buyers. Reliance Jio is offering an exclusive deal that gives users Jio services worth Rs 18,000 for free for one year. Also, the company will offer free calling, 20GB of 4G data, 40GB of JioNet Wi-Fi data, unlimited SMS and 30 minutes of ISD calling per month. The benefits will start from 1 January 2017 and will be available for the first year.

Image Credit:

Image Credit:

Clearing the confusion over Airtel down payment offer

Airtel has teamed with Bajaj Finance to offer you a new iPhone 7 at Rs 19,990. The down payment amount goes up depending on the model that you are buying. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus with 256GB, the most expensive model on offer, will cost Rs 43,792 as down payment.

On Saturday, 8 Oct, Airtel had announced on its site that it would be offering an iPhone 7 from Rs 19,990 onwards. The page has since been taken down and the redirects to the my Infinity plan page. Airtel had earlier announced separate plans for iPhone 7 buyers who would opt for its my Infinity plans.

They were two separate offerings. Till today.

The breakup for the different iPhone models along with down payments as mentioned on the Airtel FAQ page on 8 Oct were as follows:

Airtel prices

Image: Airtel

After speaking to Airtel on 10 Oct, we learned that the myInfinity plans will be be available with the iPhone 7's sold on down payment. According to IANS, the down payment offer is still on says Airtel.

After speaking to Airtel, here are the new revised plans on offer.

  • Rs 949 plan – 1GB data + Unlimited calling (local- mobile | Music,Movies and 100 SMS per day) + 10GB data
  • Rs 1,199 plan – 1GB data + Unlimited calling (local/STD/roaming- mobile | Music,Movies and 100 SMS per day) + 10GB data
  • Rs 1,599 plan– 5GB data + Unlimited calling (local/STD/roaming- mobile | Music,Movies and 100 SMS per day) + 10GB data
  • Rs 1,999 plan– 10GB data + Unlimited calling (local/STD/roaming- mobile | Music,Movies and 100 SMS per day) + 10GB data
  • Rs 2,999 plan– 20GB data + Unlimited calling (local/STD/roaming- mobile | Music,Movies and 100 SMS per day) + 10GB data

What happens after 12 months?

Now here is where things get interesting. After using your new iPhone for one year, you will need to exchange your iPhone with the latest Apple iPhone available in the store next year. But, if you want to keep your device or switch carriers, you need to pay a one-time "balloon payment" amount to keep your current phone.

Airtel will give 10GB additional data over and above the current myInfinity plan for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users, per month for the first year. In addition, it is offering 5GB additional data per month, over and above the myInfinity plan to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus users.

This seems exactly like the carrier contract system in the USA, where phones are available at an initial, subsidised rate and the cost is added to the monthly bill. But the contract system in the US is available with a two-year option as well where at the end, you get to keep the phone without any balloon payment.


Airtel has added restrictions to the process. The one year that you're using the smartphone; you can't port your mobile number to any other network, switch plans or transfer the ownership to any other user.

After 12 months, you need to visit the Airtel store within 30 days to return your current phone and switch to a new phone. On returning the phone you can either change your plans or if you are not sure which plan you want to opt for, you will get the following discounts on current plans - Rs 1,199 will reduce to Rs 949; Rs 1,599 will reduce to Rs 1,199 rental; Rs 1,999 will reduce to Rs 1,599 rental and Rs 2,999 will reduce to Rs 1,999 rental.

The phone should not have any damage from heavy wear and tear, significant damage including scratches or any other damage that makes the device useless. The most amusing part of the restrictions is that the phone should not be locked while returning the device back.

How they compare

Comparing both the offers in the scenario where you are buying a new Apple device and want to keep it after the first year (so we have taken downpayment + Balloon payment under Airtel column), we made a table with the current details and pricing offered by the company. We have taken into consideration the highest offered plan.

Price (₹) Airtel iPhone Plan (₹) Reliance Jio iPhone Plan (₹)
Apple iPhone 7 32GB 59,998 43,990 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)  = 79,978 59,998
Apple iPhone 7 128GB 69,998 53,990 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)  = 89,978 69,998
Apple iPhone 7 256GB 79,998 63,990 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)  = 99,978 79,998
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 32GB 72,000 55,992 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)   = 91,980 72,000
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 128GB 82,000 65,992 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)  = 1,01,980 82,000
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 256GB 92,000 75,992 + 35,988 (2,999 x 12)   = 1,11,980 92,000

One thing to note is that Airtel is providing 30GB 4G data per month while Reliance Jio is providing 20GB 4G data with unlimited night time data from 2 AM till 4 AM. That comes to Airtel offering 30GB x 12 = 360GB data annually; Jio on the other hand will offer 20GB x 12 = 240GB annually.

But in addition to the 240GB data, Jio is also giving an additional 40GB of JioNet hotspot data free which equates to 40GB x 12 = 480GB. So in effect Jio is offering 240GB + 480GB = 720GB annually with your new iPhone. This means that the company is giving free Reliance Jio services for 15 months (3  months under welcome offer + 12 months of 2017.)

We clarified with Airtel representative about the exchange program and they mentioned that users will have to pay a downpayment for new iPhone version when they had the iPhone 7 back after one year.

Disclaimer: Reliance Jio is owned by Reliance Industries, who also own Network18, the publisher of Firstpost and tech2. 

Updated Date: Oct 11, 2016 08:31 AM