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Recently, Airtel announced its iPhone for life plan after the launch of iPhone.

For the ones who don’t know about it, Apple iPhone 7 was launched in India at a starting price of Rs 60,000 for 32 GB variant. It is available on all online retail as well bundled with various bank and exchange offers.

As per the Airtel’s offer, which it calls as “iPhone for life” plan, you may upgrade to a new iPhone every year without spending anything extra. All you need to pay is a certain down payment amount alongside selecting one of Airtel’s monthly tariff plans.

Sounds tempting, right? It is not as simple as it seems. Let’s break it down and analyze.

What is the Airtel offer?

Airtel has tied up with Bajaj Finance Limited to offer iPhone at an initial down payment of Rs. 19,990 (for 32 GB variant). Alongside the down payment, you are required to select one of Airtel postpaid plans, starting from Rs 1,999 (Rs 2300 with taxes) for 5GB of data and unlimited calling.

airtel-iphone-scheme_small_101016012556

Terms and Conditions

To be eligible for the offer, you need to be eligible for the loan which needs you to produce your 2 months’ salary slip. You also need to sign up for Electronic Clearance Service, wherein you authorize BFL to deduct money from your account as per the plan.

After spending a period of 12 months with the selected plan, you can rightfully exchange your current iPhone with the latest one from the store you purchased it. But in case you do not want to exchange your iPhone and want to continue with the same one; then what?

To opt out after 12 months, you need to play BFL what it calls the “balloon payment” of Rs 24,000 for the base variant and more for the others. The total amount paid after a year – Rs 19,900 + Rs 27,600 (for the base tariff) + Rs 24,000 = Rs 71,590.

If you plan to opt out anytime before the 12 month period, you need to close the loan from BFL with foreclosure charges and own the device.

Here’s a table showing the model specific details about the plan.

Source: ndtv
Source: NDTV

Why is it not worth?

  1. On comparison, it comes out that the similar iPhone contracts in other countries do not generally include any down payment. Furthermore, in the west, the practice is despised by the users for the phone turns out to be much costlier in the long run.
  1. After one or two years of the contract, your iPhone still holds a lot of resale value, which doesn’t hurt much if you traded it with a new one. But contracts don’t take that into account.
    Even after a monthly payment, you would be required to pay a balloon payment, that makes the phone at least Rs 11,590 costlier if compared to MRP and as much as Rs 21,590 if online discounts are clubbed in.
  1. As per the Airtel’s terms and conditions, in case any of the below listed comes true, the device will not be accepted for exchange and balloon payment will be deducted from your account.• Device not accompanied with its battery.
    • The device has missing parts.
    • The device has non-standard OEM parts.
    • The device is non-functional.
    • The device has or has had liquid damage.
    • The device has LCD damage.
    • The device has missing parts.
    • The device is locked.
    • The device is significantly damaged (cracked, scratched, dents etc)
  1. There are annoying restrictions to your connection
    • Apply for Mobile Number Portability
    • Opt out of the Airtel network
    • Give a transfer of ownership request
    • Request for safe custody
    • Migrate from postpaid to prepaid

A contract scheme is what you might have been waiting for to get hold of the new iPhone, and Airtel’s iPhone for life plan might fit that dream. You are assured a new iPhone every year while you pay your monthly telephone bills. But at the end of the day, after all the exorbitant tariffs you have been paying you still don’t own that iPhone.

Also check: HTC 10 slashed its price by Rs 5000