Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus are now officially available in India and it looks like Airtel is offering the phone at a payment of just Rs 19,990 and Rs 30,792 respectively. Interestingly the Airtel India website page for Apple where this offer was being highlighted is now showing a 404 error when you try and access it. Later an Airtel customer care executive told us the plan is only for Bharti Airtel employees.
Now Airtel has issued a statement trying to clarify the confusion over this lend/lease offer on the iPhone 7. “We understand that there is some confusion regarding two separate offers from Airtel on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus. There is a special 10 GB per month free additional data offer with any Airtel Infinity plan with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus. The offer is open for all customers and is very much active. There is also a device lease plan, which is being piloted for employees of select enterprise customers, and this offer is also very much active. In the interest of customers and to avoid any further confusion, relevant changes are being made to the website. These will reflect shortly,” said an Airtel spokesperson.
So technically the limited set of people who are eligible will be able to buy the new iPhones at the low price of Rs 19,990 and Rs 30,792. Bajaj Finance will finance the smartphone at 0 per cent interest. Pricing is higher for 128 and 256GB models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus respectively. Earlier it was reported the plan would be live in Noida and Karnataka only.
Plans bundled in this offer start at Rs 1,999 which comes with 5GB data+ unlimited calling, Rs 2,499 plan with 10GB data and unlimited calling. Finally there’s a Rs 2,999 plan with 15GB data and unlimited calling. Unlimited calling in this plan includes local, STD and fixed line.
However the Airtel plan appears to be offering the iPhone 7 on some sort of lease/upgrade basis as after 12 months a user has to return the device and upgrade to the next iPhone. To hold onto the device, a user will need to pay Rs 24,000 going up all the way to Rs 32,200 depending on the model and storage space. So technically this offer is a lease and contract from Airtel, which explains why it is only being offered in select places and to a few people.
Airtel also has some offers for iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus buyers who can’t try out this scheme. The company is offering 10GB free 4G/3G data per month for one year with any Airtel Infinity Postpaid plan. Airtel says the free data benefit will be over and above the plan benefits.
Airtel’s offer is again open only to current customers who have subscribed to the Infinity plan before hand. A user will need to go to Airtel website from their iPhone 7/7 Plus and click on ‘Activate Now’ button to get the benefit. Airtel says the offer will be activated within 48 hours and the customer will be informed via SMS.
Airtel says the offer only applies on new iPhones purchased in India, and not on those bought abroad. Also a customer must continue on the same Infinity plan during the entire offer period to avail the free data benefit. It won’t apply to those who have “activated an Airtel handset offer in the past 90 days”, nor is it “available on company paid connections.”
Reliance Jio has also extended its Welcome offer to iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 and iPhone SE series.