The introduction of Reliance Jio in the Indian markets did cause a catastrophic effect. And what clearly stood out as an undefeated winner was the Jio Phone. In the era of numerous smartphones, this feature phone caused the overall phone shipments to record a steep rise of 37 per cent in the last quarter of 2017.
According to reports of Counterpoint, a market research firm, the purchase of feature phones have risen. Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint commented on the same and said, "One of the key reason for the sale of this phone was record pre-orders (6 million) plus many feature phone users found it a worthy upgrade. These users have always used the similar form factor device for voice usage but using data on a similar form factor ensured that users didn't need to go through a huge learning curve when it comes to using data on smartphones."
He added, "Additionally, the strategy involving cashback after a couple of years in the feature phone segment makes more sense than cashback in low-end smartphones which don't enjoy such high-shelf life."
Pathak is also of the opinion that feature phones are performing really well in India market and the trend will only continue. He said, "We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200 million unit opportunity by volume, over the next five years as the hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets. While Jiophone saw healthy sell-in during 4Q, we believe the operator exited the quarter with some inventory, which could affect its share in coming quarters."
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