Reliance JioPhone, the budget feature/smart phone, was ahead in shipments across categories, according to a new report by CyberMedia Research. CMR’s data showed that the Reliance Jio contributed around 27 per cent in shipments, including the Feature phone, smartphone and Fusion phone category. CMR has term feature phones with smart elements like the JioPhone as Fusion phones.
Overall, according to CMR’s data, the second quarter of 2018, saw smartphone shipments cross 300 million in India with one in four mobile handsets now manufactured in the country. It also notes that LTE handsets grew 104 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2017. According to CMR, this Fusion category, which includes the JioPhone, was a game-changer in the quarter as well.
“The second quarter of 2018 saw the arrival of Fusion phones as a distinct category. Though it is primarily driven by JioPhone, Indian brands like Micromax and Lava are also shipping in smaller quantities, “Narinder Kumar, Lead Analyst, IIG-CMR said in a press statement.
“Going forward, it is expected that other brands shall also explore Fusion phones and excite the consumers with enriched smart capabilities within the feature phone form factor. However, the success will depend on how it penetrates into the open market, albeit telecom operators supporting the initiative,” he noted.
With the JioPhone’s case, the company also bundled special data plans, which boosted its sale. Jio has claimed that users of the feature/smart phone consume nearly 7GB of data per month on average.
Anshuman Thakur, Reliance Jio’s head of strategy and planning, told this in a Bloomberg interview, adding that the company’s new Jio Monsoon Hungama offer is helping add more consumers. In this offer, Jio is offering the feature/smartphone for just Rs 500 and has introduced a plan as well.
Coming to CMR’s research, smartphones shipments continued to grow at 17% on annual comparison driven by strong performance registered by brands including Honor, Realme and Vivo. However, CMR’s data showed a 28% declined feature phones, and claims this is being taken over by the Fusion phones that includes newer devices from Jio, Micromax, Lava, etc.
It should be noted that according to numbers shared by research firm Counterpoint, the feature phone market actually grew at 21 per cent, though that includes the JioPhone. CMR has put JioPhone in a completely different category. The firm notes that the Fusion Phones Segment means mobile handsets that have a feature phone form factor with 4G connectivity, and may have a closed apps ecosystem like the JioPhone.