Airtel's iPhone 7 offer at Rs 7,777 is a lose-lose situation for the consumers
On the heels of Reliance Jio's lose-lose iPhone 8 offer, Airtel has come out with their own offer, albeit on the older iPhone 7 model. Airtel is offering the iPhone 7 at just Rs 7,777. You can clearly see Airtel playing with numbers to entice the customer. The telecom operator has announced the offer along with its brand new online store, where they are also offering a smartphone to compete with Reliance's JioPhone.
At the moment, the iPhone 7 32GB variant is available for just Rs 38,999. Airtel is offering it at a down payment of Rs 7,777. After availing of this offer, the customer is mandated to pay Rs. 2,499 every month for 24 months. This is Airtel's new 2,499 postpaid plan that will provide the consumer with 30GB of data as well as unlimited STD, local and national roaming calls every month.
Along with this, Airtel is also giving customers physical damage and cyber protection under Airtel's Secure package for free. Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO and Director, Engineering, Bharti Airtel had this to say about the new store, "Imagine getting your dream device, instant credit to purchase it and a great plan to go with it, all available in one place with a few clicks".
There is also an offer on the 128GB iPhone 7. That is available at Rs 16,300. The iPhone 7 Plus 32GB at Rs 17,300 and then 128GB iPhone 7 Plus at just Rs 26,000. All of these come with the same Rs 2,499 per month for 24 months offer. In the long run, these deals will turn out to be worse for the consumer. It's like an EMI gone rogue.
Airtel is trying to follow the United States' model of on-contract smartphones. In the USA, consumers pay a one-time downpayment fee of $100-$200 and then a monthly fee for a two-year period.
Yes, Airtel's deal may look good on paper but break it down and you will realise just what a terrible offer it is for the consumer. Let's break it down then using just the iPhone 7 32GB model.
Under Airtel's offer: Rs 7,777 as the downpayment. Add to that 24 months of the 2,499 plan and it works out to Rs 67,753.
Buying an iPhone 7 32GB from the open market: Cost of buying from Amazon, Rs 38,999. Airtel's 30GB plan is available at just Rs 649. Rs 649 for 24 months is equal to Rs 15,576. Add that to the cost of the phone and the final amount is Rs 54,575.
Therefore, the consumer ends up saving Rs 13,178. Not a small amount by any means. There will be an even higher price difference if you buying a more expensive model. The major difference in the offers is in the plan that Airtel is offering. The Rs 649 30GB plan is way cheaper than the bundled plan at Rs 2,499.
Along with this, the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus is sure to bring down the price of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in the coming months.
The only advantage of Airtel's offer is that the customer doesn't have to pay the full price of the phone upfront. Those purchasing an iPhone 7 from an e-commerce site will have to pay it all upfront.