Reliance Jio’s JioPhone (review) recorded large shipment volumes in the quarter ended December 2017. The smart feature phone from Jio grabbed a 27 percent share in India’s feature phone market, made up by devices priced under Rs 2,000. The data was made available by Counterpoint Research to ET.
According to the Hong Kong-based research firm, Samsung fell to the second spot in terms of its feature phone market share for the first time in years. Samsung recorded 17 percent market share in India’s feature phone space, while homegrown smartphone maker Micromax bagged the third spot, followed by China’s Itel and HMD Global-led Nokia.
"JioPhone brought in huge volumes in the quarter, due to which it was able to surpass Samsung, which typically leads this segment," said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint. "The device saw traction as feature phone users moved to the JioPhone and could use the similar form factor device to consume data as against the voice only earlier."
According to Counterpoint, Reliance’s JioPhone was also responsible for increasing the overall feature phone footprint in India. The launch of the JioPhone resulted in a 43 percent year-on-year increase in the feature phone market size and added to the 50 million feature phone shipment uptake in the quarter ended December.
Overall, feature phone shipments shot up by 51 percent year-on-year, compared to the 10-12 percent that the industry usually ships.
ET reports that Reliance Jio shipped over 15 million JioPhone handsets in the October - December period. The company is also expected to relaunch the JioPhone next month after catering to battery and chipset supply issues.
The report quotes Reliance Jio's Strategy Head Anshuman Thakur as saying, "There were certain supply constraints that we faced, which have been overcome. Now, you will see more of such phones."
The JioPhone is an effectively free 4G handset that comes with a refundable security deposit of Rs 1500. Reliance has also upped the daily data usage limit on the JioPhone, which will be increased to 1.5GB instead of 1GB per day starting January 26.