Reliance Jio now set to ‘disrupt’ smartphone market
A large number of customers are likely to take to the handsets expected to be launched by the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator at Rs 999 and Rs 1,500 during this quarter, according to analysts, who said this may spell a setback of sorts to the smartphone market.
“If VoLTE feature phones come into the market, then there won’t be a driving force pushing for the upgrade to smartphones; rather it will be an upgrade from feature phones to VoLTE feature phones,” said Faizal Kawoosa, principal analyst at Cybermedia Research. “It will be a challenging time for the smartphone market, which could see flat growth in 2017.”
Analysts said projections of growth in India’s smartphone market this year may have to be revised downwards when Jio’s VoLTE feature phones make their impact.
International Data Corporation (IDC) and Counterpoint have projected a year-onyear growth for the domestic market in 2017.
IDC expects the market to grow in lower double digits, up from its estimate of 8% growth in 2016 over the previous year. Counterpoint, on the other hand, expects the market to grow 23% in 2017, the same as its estimate for growth in 2016.
Jio’s VoLTE feature phones could increase the rate of migration within the feature phone category while lowering that of feature phones to smartphones, they said.