Micromax To Launch 4G VoLTE Feature Phone
Micromax Informatics will soon launch low-priced 4G VoLTE enabled features phones. This is an attempt to gain back the lost grounds it once treaded in the Indian smartphone market when it enjoyed the second position until it was pushed away by its Chinese rivals. Reliance Jio, is ready to launch feature phones with 4G VoLTE capability, it announced last month, indicating that Indian branded feature phones may be on a rebound.
Micromax’s two phones called Bharat One and Bharat Two will feature integrated digital payments system. These features otherwise only offered in smartphones are aimed at the low-end market. The 4G VoLTE feature phone Bharat One will reportedly be priced at well under Rs. 2,500 and the low-end smartphone, Bharat Two will be priced under Rs. 3,300.
The VoLTE feature phone will feature touch and type functionalities. It however, will not run on Android. The phone is targeted at people who wants the basic functionalities of the phones but supports internet.
At a time when India happens to be a major market for new smartphones and advanced technology, a recent research study by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) showed that 85% of feature phone users do not prefer switching to smartphones. These users indicate that functional benefits, combined with durability, battery life, and the ease of repair, are coveted factors why they are not likely to switch to smartphones.
The Micromax Android run low-end smartphone may have tie-ups with digital wallets offered by Transerv and will be able to pay merchants offline through mVisa.
Feature phone users spend comparatively more on the mobile plans. The ARPU is noted to be 20% higher as compared on a national average basis. Points like these and several others, are a guidance to phonemakers, and the future of what they consider a lucrative smartphone market.
The Micromax 4G VoLTE phones may give a tough competition to Relience Jio which is planning to launch phones with 4G VoLTE support, priced as low as Rs 999. These launches will yet again revive the feature phone market.
Gartner too noted that sales of feature phones accounted for a majority, over 60% of total mobile device sales last year, leaving plenty of scope for upgrades as smartphones continue to become more affordable. And this is something that smartphone players should act on.
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