Nearly 200 million 4G-enabled feature phones will be sold in India in the next five years, triggering a slow-down for the domestic smartphone market, a new report claimed on Wednesday.
“We estimate close to 60 million units of 4G-capable feature phones could ship this year globally from almost a million units last year, with India potentially contributing to almost half of that this year,” said the analysts from market research firm Counterpoint Research.
In terms of hardware revenues, it is a $6 billion opportunity cumulatively over the next five years in India.
“Key players to watch out in this segment are Micromax, Intel, Lava, Jio, Nokia and so forth,” the report added.
Chipset brands such as Qualcomm with its latest Qualcomm 205 platform specially designed for 4G LTE Feature Phones is poised to drive growth starting with end of Q2 2017.
“More than 400 million feature phones were sold globally in 2016 and we saw smartphone market growth slow down to 3 percent (year-on-year), portraying that the easy days of smartphone growth are over,” the report stated.
The smartphone growth slowing down and the feature phone decline slowing down is the polarisation of market in terms of technology as well as user base.
“This is making a case for the rise of 4G capable feature phones with the core value proposition being VoLTE calls and move the users to the cost-efficient 4G networks. We estimate more than half a billion 4G capable feature phones will be sold over the next five years, a ‘big short-term opportunity’ for players in the mobile industry,” the analysts predicted.