India’s 4G Feature Phone Segment To Touch 40 Mn: Report

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 05, 2018


With Reliance Industries’ JioPhone to dominate the mobile phone market, India’s newly created 4G featurephone segment is set to expand rapidly in 2018 with shipments expected to take a leap from 18-19 million in 2017 to 40 million.  

As per an Economic Times report, the growth, however, depends on the evolvement of ecosystem as more handset vendors are expected to join the game by introducing low-cost smartphones on the Android Go platform. 

The featurephone segment is expected to witness more vendors such as HMD Global, makers of Nokia devices, and China’s Transsion come into the fray, along with Finland’s Jolla which might launch its new Sailfish operating system for 4G featurephones this year.  

As per the evaluation of Counterpoint Research and International Data Corp. (IDC), one in three featurephones shipped in India is likely to have 4G capabilities and the shipment of such devices will “easily achieve 40 million.”  In 2017, around 18-19 million 4G feature phones were shipped in India, which was around 10-12% of the overall feature phone shipments. JioPhone had captured a 97% of the 4G feature phone market in 2017. 

“It is a sizable market to accommodate multiple mobile OEMs (original equipment makers) looking to bundle offers with operators to maximize customer lifetime value,” said Pavel Naiya, senior analyst - devices and ecosystem at Counterpoint Research. 

The entire featurephone vendor segment is aiming at upgrading 500 million basic phone users to smartphones by making them affordable.

Jaipal Singh, senior market analyst at IDC India, said Jio will continue to be the prime contributor to the majority of the 4G feature phone shipments in India, and “volume from new vendors will remain very small… mostly their devices will be targeted to a niche segment with more altered use cases.”  Jio recently reinforced its commitment towards KaiOS operating system that powers the JioPhone by acquiring a 16% stake in the US-based company for $7 million cash. But this OS is set to get more competition shortly.