Airtel not keen on low-cost phones; so far Jio only player

Reliance Jio’s low-cost smartphone, which it is developing in partnership with Google, might be delayed to a Diwali launch, but will definitely hit the markets this year. However, rival Bharti Airtel continues to stoutly resist any temptation of getting into a subsidy-led handset business. At a recent analyst conference, Bharti Airtel’s chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal once again stated that telecom operators may not be able to sustain a handset subsidy-driven subscriber addition model in the long run and, therefore, the company is not keen to move in that direction.

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