Credit Suisse says close to 40 million Reliance JioPhones sold so far; incumbents should be worried

Highlighting the fact that the JioPhone is already a meaningful contributor to Reliance Jio's growth, a survey has estimated that the total number of JioPhones sold so far could be around 40 million.

A survey by Credit Suisse on the Indian telecom sector said that as suggested by recent media reports, JioPhone had a 36 percent share of the feature phone market for the January-March quarter of 2018, on an expanded market base. "This implies JioPhone sales of around 21 million for the quarter or roughly seven million per month," the survey said.

The JioPhone.

The JioPhone.

According to the report, the exit run-rate for March could be higher than that number as the Rs 49 plan was introduced in late January.

"Now compare this with net adds reported by Jio running at 8-9 million for January and February 2018 (March data is awaited -- we will likely get to see a higher number when company reports on April 27)," it said. "Overall, we conclude that JioPhone is already a meaningful contributor to growth for Jio. We estimate the total Jiophones sold so far could be close to around 40 million," the report added.

The survey stated that it is difficult to gauge, at this point, whether Jio is eating into others' share or adding to the pie, with customers buying Jiophones as their secondary device.

"Given the mood in the incumbent camp on this topic (that is, not much alarm), the latter could be the more likely situation currently. Exit of smaller players (most recently Aircel) could be cushioning the blow for incumbents -- but that is a cushion that may not last for long," it said.

The survey suggested that these trends, however, do indicate that JioPhone is a product that has passed the early adopter stage and is getting well accepted, and that should be a reason for worry for the incumbents.

"Sooner than later, it could start eating into installed subscriber base of incumbents. Going forward, potential release of KaiOS version of Whatsapp could be an added catalyst for sales of this device," it noted.

The report pointed out that it would be interesting to see Jio's experience of data usage on these devices. It said that Jio consistently saw around a 10 GB per month usage per sub in the smartphone segment. "We would be surprised if feature phone users match up to that level of consumption," the survey added.

(Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd)


Updated Date: Apr 25, 2018 18:37 PM

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