JioPhone, with a 27% market share by shipments, has overthrown Samsung to become the leader in the feature phone segment. Jiophone’s aggressive supplies in the last months of 2017 helped it to dwindle the gap between demand and supply.
Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio‘s JioPhone is the first feature phone to support 4G Voice over LTE (VoLTE) technology. It is available at Rs. 1500 which Jio says would be fully refunded after three years, making it effectively free.
In the phones typically below Rs 2000, Samsung follows Jio with a market share of 17%, trailed by Micromax, China’s Itel and Nokia.
Most of the feature phones do not have high-speed data support unlike JioPhone, which gives it a cutting edge over other players in the market. Introduction of JioPhone substantially expanded the size of feature phone market size. Overall shipments rose by 51% on-year as compared 10-12%, the average amount industry generally ships.
After the start of bookings in late August, the company sold over 6 million devices in the first phase. Bookings were later resumed again in November 2017. The company is planning to relaunch their feature phone the next month after resolving supply issues related to battery and chipsets. In the period from October to December, the company shipped over 15 million devices, of which, around 80% have already been sold to customers.
Currently, the company’s subscriber base stands at 160.1 million and is planning to reach 400 million by the end of 2018. Jio posted a net profit of Rs 504 crore in Q3. To make JioPhone even more enticing, the company increased the daily limit of Rs 153 a month plan (including Rs 99 as Prime membership for a year) from 1 GB to 1.5 GB.
The JioPhone, launched in July 2017 comes with a 2.4-inch screen along with a 2MP camera and 2000 mAh battery. You get a single nano-SIM slot and a microSD card slot.