Jio pips Samsung, Micromax and Nokia to capture top spot in feature phones shipment tally: Counterpoint
About 55 million feature phones are estimated to have been shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 55 percent year-on-year
New Delhi: Within months of launch, Reliance Jio's 4G phone has captured the top spot in the feature phone shipment tally in India cornering 26 percent share at the end of December 2017 quarter, as per research firm Counterpoint.
The new entrant toppled segment leader Samsung, which ended the quarter with 15 percent share compared to 23 percent in September 2017 quarter and 25 percent in the year-ago period, the data showed. About 55 million feature phones are estimated to have been shipped in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 55 percent year-on-year.
"Feature phones have been driven by the disruptive entry of Jiophone, which expanded the segment. The quarter also saw new device launches and strong promotions from various brands looking to catalyse demand after Diwali," Counterpoint Research Research Analyst Karn Chauhan said.
Others in the top five feature phone tally in the fourth quarter included Micromax, itel and HMD (Nokia). Reliance Jio had announced its 4G feature phone in August last year that would be "effectively free" for users, but to prevent misuse of the scheme, JioPhone buyers were required to pay one-time fully refundable deposit of Rs 1,500.
For the full year, Samsung held onto the top spot with 21 percent share, followed by itel (12 percent), Reliance Jio (11 percent), Micromax (9 percent) and Lava (7 percent). Counterpoint Research Associate Director Tarun Pathak said the feature phone segment is still important in the Indian market.
"We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200- million unit opportunity by volume over the next five years as hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets," he said.
Pathak added that while Jiophone saw healthy sell-in during the fourth quarter, it exited the quarter with some inventory that could affect its share in coming quarters. To make its offerings even more attractive, Reliance Jio today introduced a plan with lowest rental of Rs 49 that will offer unlimited voice and data for 28 days to JioPhone users.
(Disclosure - Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd)
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