Micromax joined hands with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to launch Bharat 1 earlier this month. The company now brings the cheapest 4G smartphone in India, as claimed by the company itself — called the — Bharat2 Ultra at an effective price of Rs 999. The 4G smartphone will be available in India starting Nov first week.
With the Bharat2 Ultra, Micromax is possibly aiming at gaining back its long lost position and become one of the top five smartphone manufacturing companies in this segment. Commenting on the initiative, Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax Informatics said, “We should be back in top five in smartphones within this quarter and we will take back our position.” Rahul further added that Micromax has managed to sell over 2 million Bharat 2 units in India from its launch.
Micromax launches the Bharat2 Ultra at an effective price of Rs 999 in a partnership with Vodafone India. With Bharat2 Ultra, Micromax and Vodafone has applied almost the same strategy as Airtel and Karbonn did with the newly launch Karbonn A40 Indian 4G phone.
Initially, the consumers will need to buy the Bharat2 Ultra at Rs 2,899. But then, there are a lot of conditions, much like the Karbonn A40 Indian and also JioPhone. The company will later refund a sum of Rs 1,999 over a period of 3 years. This is how it will work. After buying the phone with Rs 2,899, the consumers will have to recharge their numbers (Vodafone) with Rs 150 every month, under which the users will get voice calling and data services. Doing this for 18 months continuously, Micromax will offer a cashback of Rs 900. After the next 18 months — during this time consumers will have to continue with the Rs 150/month plan – Micromax will offer another Rs 1,000 cashback to the consumer.
Avneesh Khosla, Vodafone India Associate Director of Consumer Business says that the customers can do as many recharges as they want in a months, just that the cumulative recharge value should total to Rs 150 or more.
Overall, the company will refund Rs 1,900, which means, for Bharat2 Ultra, the consumers will have to pay Rs 999. Bharat2 Ultra buyers will get the Rs 1,999 refund in their Vodafone M-Pesa wallets. Commenting on the partnership, Khosla says, “We are delighted to partner with Micromax to democratize the 4G smart phones at a never before price of under Rs 999.” He believes that this will “help fulfill the aspirations of several million phone users across the country that desire a smart phone but couldn’t afford one. It will also encourage current non users of 4G to upgrade and enjoy a richer user experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G.”
Airtel and Karbonn launches a new 4G smartphone called the Karbonn A40 Indian recently, which also somewhat comes with the similar strategy, apart from the fact that it comes with an effective price of Rs 1,399. This was launched to counter Jio’s JioPhone which comes in at an effective price tag of Rs ‘zero’. Customers will actually have to pay Rs 2,899, while buying the phone, but Karbonn will refund back Rs 1,500. The customer – who buys the A40 Indian will be eligible for the refund only if they make 36 continuous monthly recharges of Rs 169 every month. Doing so, the customer will get a cash refund of Rs 500 after 18 months and another Rs 1,000 in the next 18 months (i.e after 36 months from the purchase date).
Micromax recently unveiled Bharat 1 to take on JioPhone. The home grown company partners with BSNL to launch this 4G feature phone, which comes at Rs 2,200. With the Bharat 1, Micromax (together with BSNL) is aiming “at providing a compelling 4G phone option to India’s 500 million plus population that is still Internet unconnected.”