Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G launch has led to the demand for devices supporting voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE)) almost doubling up. This comes as a good news for other 4G operators in India, like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Reliance Communications, Telenor and BSNL, as well. A study by Counterpoint Research says that around 7 out of every 10 smartphones which were shipped in India were LTE capable and 8 out of every 10 LTE capable smartphones were VoLTE ready in the third quarter of 2016. Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “out of all the smartphones being sold, almost seventy percent of them are now LTE capable with eighty percent of those LTE smartphones sporting VoLTE (Voice over LTE) capabilities signalling a significant polarisation among the Indian demographics.”
According to the report, in India, the smartphone shipments grew at a good 23% annually in the third quarter of 2016. Compared to that, the global smartphone market grew only a mere 5%. Interestingly, 2 out of 3 mobile phones and 3 out of 4 smartphones which were shipped in this quarter were ‘Made in India’. China too is not far behind. The report said, “Chinese brands are growing in clout and now contributes to almost one out of three smartphone shipments.” Samsung still dominates the market and remained at the top of the list by a huge margin, in all the segments like handset, smartphone and feature phones. In the smartphone sector, Reliance Jio’s LYF brand is now at number four, because of the commercial launch and attractive trial period offer to users.
Chauhan said, “The demand for smartphones is being fueled by growing importance of being uber-connected which is further catalysed by the rollout of LTE networks.” The demand reportedly has been more in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities which are price sensitive than in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, where people should understand the values of VoLTE more.