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Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Phone topples Samsung to become number one feature phone brand


After disrupting telecom sector, now Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has outrun Samsung, a market leader, in feature phone segment.

Jio feature phone, which is being offered for free with its initial paid amount to be fully refunded after three years, in the quarter to December by shipments claimed to have a 27 per cent share of the segment of the market, said ET in its report quoting Counterpoint Research.

Samsung is at number two position with 17 per cent share, followed by Micromax and Nokia, the report added.

The feature phone market size also witnessed expansion by 43 per cent year on year to 5 crore, higher than the usual 3-3.5 crore shipped in a month.

“JioPhone brought in huge volumes in the quarter, due to which it was able to surpass Samsung, which typically leads this segment,” Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint was quoted as saying in the report.

In December, Jio relocated manufacturing units to India from China fearing to miss its sales target due to slow manufacturing. Jio had received about 6 million devices from the Chinese vendors. The company has set a target to reach sales of 200 million phones by December 2018.

The company believes that handset sales would boost its subscriber base on the back of various features, but most importantly, video calling. Earlier, while launching the phone Ambani said that Jio is targeting to have 5 million Jio phones available every week.

Ambani also added that the company is ahead of its schedule in terms of its returns and it would break even in the next few quarters.

Last week, Jio posted a net profit of Rs 504 crore for the three months ended December 31, 2017, against a loss of Rs 271 crore in September quarter.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is also planning to go public by next year-end. So far, the company has invested $31 billion in its telecom venture, which was launched in September 2016.

The company’s subscriber base stands at 160.1 million users. In total, for Jio gross subscriber addition stood at 27.8 million during the quarter with net subscriber addition at 21.5 million. It has set an internal target of reaching 400 million subscribers by the end of 2018

To grow its subscriber base, Jio is increasing the daily data allowance for the Rs 153 a month plan, including Rs 99 as Prime membership for a year, associated with JioPhone to 1.5 GB from 1GB, from this Friday.

Reliance Jio is yet to respond to Entrackr‘s queries regarding shipments and sales.

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