Jio has been the fastest to see the opportunity at low price points and adapt the platform to acquire millions of 2G feature phone users to its 4G network.
Reliance Jio, which has been the fastest in utilising the opportunity of bringing 2G feature phone users to its 4G network with the 4G feature phone, has acquired around 50 million Jio Phone users since late 2017.
Counterpoint Research, in its latest report, said that Jio has been the fastest to see the opportunity and adopt the platform to acquire tens of millions of 2G feature phone users to its 4G network with its KaiOS-powered 4G smart feature phone.
“The company’s Jio Phone, is the world’s leading VoLTE-supported KaiOS-based smart feature phone. It was launched at a price of $20 and is the current exemplar of a smart feature phone value proposition and execution globally. Out of more than 100 million subscribers that Reliance Jio added since the Jio Phone launch in late 2017, the KaiOS powered 4G smart feature phone contributes close to half of those net additions,” Counterpoint said.
The research firm expects that over the next 3 years, nearly 370 million smart feature phones are expected to be sold across the world, which will introduce an entirely untapped customer base to high-speed internet, apps and services and in doing so, will open a whole host of new business and revenue opportunities for the entire mobile value chain. Counterpoint Research director Neil Shah said, “The revenue opportunity from increasing sales of smart feature phones is expected to be in the region of $28 billion over the next 3 years. This will be enabled by a potential of more than 300 million smart feature phone users globally by the end of 2021. Software and services alone will contribute to 71% of this near- to mid-term revenue opportunity, or around $20 billion.” This optimism stems from the sale of 4G feature phones in markets like India.
Counterpoint’s associate director Tarun Pathak said, “Global smart feature phone demand grew 252% year-on-year in 2018, albeit from a low base, contributing roughly 16% of the total feature phone volumes. While India is the biggest contributor to this demand, major markets that have driven smart feature phone sales include the US, the UK, South East Asia and Africa. We estimate smart feature phones to cross more than half of global feature phone volumes by 2021.”