The mobile handset market in India made a recovery in Q2 2016 thanks to a resurgent feature phone market, according to the CMR India Monthly Mobile Handset Review. The report said that while 65.9 million handsets were shipped during the period, the percentage of feature phones grew slightly to 56.5 per cent. It was 54.9 per cent of overall shipments in Q1.
The mobile handset shipments are likely to surpass the 75 million mark next quarter thanks to the impending festival season and Reliance Jio’s commercial launch, the report said.
Lead Analyst for Telecoms at CMR, Faisal Kawoosa, said: “As the telecom services data indicates, new customers are being acquired in far-flung areas of the country giving impetus to the feature phones and the existing users are due for refresh (upgrade) of the phones. Many users in the Tier I and Tier II markets had purchased their smartphones around 2013 to mid of 2014 and it’s now their turn to go for an upgraded smartphone.” The expansion in mobile base is going to drive up sales in rural and tertiary regions, he added.
Kawoosa anticipates a “spur in the growth of Chinese feature phone brands” even as existing brands get stronger.
The smartphone segment too had some surprises in store. While the sub-Rs 2,000 segment saw a tremendous 200 per cent growth on a quarterly basis, the high-end segment priced above Rs 20,000 grew 35 per cent. In the high-end segment, Oppo, LeEco, Asus, LG and Huawei benefited the most.
Mobile Handsets market analyst Tanvi Sharma said the people refreshing their smartphones are clearly jumping to a higher price range. This is something the manufacturers had been anticipating for long.