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India feature phone market down 21% as masses switch to smartphones

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New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) The feature phone market declined 21 per cent (year-on-year) in the third quarter (Q3) this year, driven by continued consumer transition to smartphones, a report showed on Monday.

itel (27 per cent), Lava (19 per cent), and Samsung (14 per cent) captured the top three spots.

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Nokia with 13 per cent, and Karbonn with 10 per cent market share summed up the top 5 list in the third quarter, according to latest CMR data.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, driven by the pandemic and consequent lockdowns, India’s feature phone market faces an uncertain future.

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“The target consumer audience for feature phones has been among the worst-hit by the pandemic. While feature phones are here to stay, India’s growing digital transformation and digital economy, would provide the requisite impetus for consumers to upgrade to smartphones,” Ram told IANS.

The consumers at the bottom-of-the-pyramid are essentially seeking affordable and accessible smartphones that deliver on voice, vernacular, and video.

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“Smartphone brands that are able to bring unique affordable data-bundled propositions will stand to gain in this race to win users at the bottom of the pyramid,” he added.

To tap into the feature phone market, telecom giant Jio and Google have now announced the availability of their much-anticipated JioPhone Next, with an entry price of Rs 1,999 (with several EMI options) and Rs 6,499 if paid upfront.

The 5.45-inch JioPhone Next that houses Pragati OS, an optimised version of Android, will have a multi-touch HD+ screen, a 13MP camera at the rear and an 8MP front camera.

The device with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage will offer Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with anti-fingerprint coating. The internal storage can be expanded up to 512 GB.

–IANS

na/vd

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