Reliance Retail’s JioPhone led the overall shipments in the Indian market, contributing 27% across feature phones, fusion phones and smartphones followed by Samsung, CMR said in its report on Thursday.
JioPhone was able to create a new category of phones called ‘fusion phones’ which was later adopted by Indian brands like Micromax and Lava as well even as they shipped in smaller quantities, the report highlighted.
“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 would like in how it penetrates into the open market, albeit telecom operators supporting the initiative,” according to Narinder Kumar, Lead Analyst, IIG-CMR.
Smartphones grew 17% on annual comparison primarily driven by Honor, Realme and Vivo. On the other hand, 28% decline was registered in feature phone category year-on-year, which is being taken by fusion phones. Furthermore, mobile handset shipments are set to cross 300 million milestone by end-2018 where smartphones are expected to outstrip feature phones and fusion phones collectively by 2020.
“In 2Q 2018, with the ushering in of the CKD level manufacturing, there are two broad trends underlining short-term turbulence. These include, the impact of Jio’s disruptive monsoon offer leading to erratic demand projection estimations for all major handset brands, and secondly, the capabilities of smaller players to switch to CKD manufacturing and maintain production levels with their own SMT lines,” said Prabhu Ram, Head – Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Ram further highlighted Samsung’s continued brand loyalty in India paid dividends with its new refreshed portfolio and Asus’ scripted a positive turnaround, on the back of a revised market strategy.
The report brought out that one in four mobile handsets is now being manufactured in India at CKD level.