The feature phone market in India has reached a 2 per cent year-on-year growth in shipments for the third quarter of 2020. According to reports by Cyber Media Research (CMR), the marginal growth is due to the economic conditions of the pandemic affecting the users of feature phone target markets. The market is dominated by Indian smartphone brands like Lava, Nokia and Karbonn.
The Chinese brand Itel Mobile has taken the lead in the feature phone market, reinstating its position after a 46 per cent year-on-year decline in Q2 2020. The company has dethroned Indian brand Lava to achieve an 19 per cent shipment market share, reporting a 5 per cent growth in shipment units. Lava stands at 18 per cent market share with a growth of a whopping 34 per cent. The company previously had 23 per cent of the shipments in the second quarter.
Itel Mobile is owned by Transsion Group, which also includes Infinix and Tecno. The report stated that the company grew 34 per cent YoY with Infinix registering 354 per cent increase in shipments. CMR suggests the company’s new smartphone models Smart 4 Plus and Hot 10 to be the contributor in the growth. Tecno recorded a 95 per cent YoY growth in its affordable phone segment with the launch of Spark Go 2020. Transsion owns a lot of inroads in Tier II and Tier III cities.
Samsung stood at the third position with 17 per cent in shipment units for the third quarter. It was the only brand to have shown a decrease in its shipments in the feature phone market share with 24 per cent YoY decline. However, the brand has taken a lead in both Indian and global smartphone market, dethroning Xiaomi and Huawei. Samsung’s range of affordable smartphones contributed to its significant achievement.
Nokia and Karbonn have claimed fourth and fifth spot in the affordable feature phone market. Nokia achieved a 12 per cent share in the 2G phone segment with 47 per cent growth in shipment units. Karbonn’s feature phone market claims 10 per cent at a 41 per cent growth.
One of the notable mentions in the report was handset phones range by Cellecor, an Indian brand, that recorded a significant growth of 384 per cent YoY. The company has established itself in the last year, growing from a rather small base.
The feature phone market has reported a significant decline in the last quarters due to the pandemic. Counterpoint Research had reported a 68 per cent decline year-on-year in the handset phone market due to the consumer base’s discretion at purchasing phones during the pandemic in July.
The last quarter report from CMR had pointed at the hopes of the Reliance Jio-Google deal can drive the market. “We believe recent announcements, such as the Jio-Google deal, augur well for the future of the mobile handset industry in India, and in potentially enabling the migration of feature phone to smartphone users, with its focus on driving affordability,” said Anand Priya Singh, Analyst, Industry Intelligence Group in the CMR report of Q2 2020.
Currently, most of the Jio handset phones feature 2G connectivity. The latest developments suggest that the new Jio phones will be in smartphone segments which are upgraded to 4G.
They will be targeted to the affordable segment with pricing of around Rs 2000. Another tech giant Flipkart’s in-house brand MarQ has also been rumoured to be developing a feature phone at a much affordable rate. With the revival of the smartphone and feature phone market, analysts have predicted that feature phones will see a technological development in the handset mobile industry with big corporations competing in this market.