If you think feature phone is slowly becoming thing of the past in India then you would be surprised to know that about 164 million feature phones sold out in 2017. According to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the feature phone sales grew by 17 per cent in 2017 over the previous year.
The growth signifies that telecom users in smaller cities and rural areas still prefer functional benefits of feature phones such as low cost, durability and battery life amongst others.
Currently, over 90 brands including Indian makers — Lava, Intex Micromax and Karbonn — sell feature phones. A joint survey by Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and Kantar IMRB revealed that majority of feature phone users are from upper SECs (socio-economic classification) and middle-class section.
Besides aforementioned brands, launch of 4G (VoLTE) capable feature phones by Reliance Jio surely triggering the growth of new age feature phones. During the fourth quarter of 2017, various suppliers shipped about 56 million Jio phones to subscribers.
On the other hand, the smartphone shipments recorded 24 per cent growth in 2017 over the previous year and touched 124 million shipments during last year. Chinese phone-maker, Xiaomi emerged as the market leader and accounted about 24 per cent of India’s smartphone market while Samsung, which is another largest phone seller in the country, also controls 24 percent of the market .
The total shipments of mobile phones in the country reached 288 million in 2017, thereby registering an annual growth of close to 16 per cent. Presently, India accounts about 10 percent of overall global smartphone sales.
The sales and production of ‘Made In India’ mobile phones has also increased and will hit 22.5 crore mark this year. During the last fiscal, 17.5 crore of mobile handsets were manufactured in the country.
The report was first developed by Financial Express.