Hike, a homegrown messaging app, announced a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel ("Airtel") to embed `Total, built by hike` on mobile devices under the latter`s `Mera Pehla Smartphone` initiative.
Starting March 2018, select smartphones under the `Mera Pehla Smartphone` will be shipped with Total as a pre-installed feature. With the added benefit of `Total` on all Mera Pehla Smartphone, users can access essential services such as Messaging, News, Recharge and more even without an active data connection and easily get online with access to data packs for as low as Re. 1.`
Total, built by hike`, a refined version of Android, has four key elements- single login for all of Total services, light services of less than 100 kb to 1 MB, offline version and sachet data packs."With `Total` on `Mera Pehla Smartphones`, first-time users will find it easy understand and navigate a smartphone. Using data is also simplified and `Total` users can get online with special data packs starting as low as Re 1/-. This is really powerful. We are very clear that to get a billion people online, we need to make the whole process of coming online a lot simpler, less intimidating as well as cost-effective and this partnership with Airtel is likely to do that," said Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike.
"We share Hike`s vision of helping every Indian own a smartphone and benefit from the digital super-highway. We look forward to collaborating with all our partners under this initiative to give every Indian access to a smartphone, bring them online and be a part of Digital India," added Nikhil Gilani, Head, Devices and E-commerce, Bharti Airtel.Launched in October 2017, Airtel`s `Mera Pehla Smartphone` initiative is aimed at enabling every Indian to buy a 4G smartphone. Airtel has partnered with multiple mobile handset manufacturers to create an `open ecosystem` of affordable 4G smartphones and bring them to market at budget-friendly prices.
According to published reports, by 2020, over 700 million people are expected to be on smartphones with many of them being first time users. This can be quite a complicated and intimidating experience for them. With `Total`, users bypass the 15-20 step process to come online and only go through a few steps to enjoy their smartphones with its multitude services.