NEW DELHI: The launch of affordable 4G smartphone — the JioPhone Next is expected to trigger feature phone-to-smartphone migration and drive up overall smartphone shipments in India in 2021, according to Counterpoint Research’s India handset quarterly outlook.
“The JioPhone Next phone is expected to be priced below $75, a price point that hasn’t seen major activity in the last two years. If it works as expected, we might see the Indian market entering a period of hyper-growth,” said Research Analyst Ankit Malhotra.
Currently, India has an installed base of 320 million feature phone users.
As per media reports, the 4G smartphone will come with a display of 1440×720 pixels resolution and Qualcomm’s entry-level 215 mobile platform, along with 2GB RAM and Android 11 Go Edition.
Additionally, it will also include Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text, language translation, and a smart camera.
JioPhone Next will also support the entire gamut of applications from both Google and Jio, as well as the Android PlayStore through which users will have access to the entire library of Android apps.
To recall, Jio had announced the device at its 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
According to the report, India’s smartphone shipments to reach a “record high” of 173 million units in 2021 at year-over-year growth of 14% in 2021.
More than 100 million smartphones are expected to be shipped in 2H21 and 5G devices will comprise 19% of the total shipments, the report said.
“The market has been experiencing a steady growth curve over the last five years to reach 158 million units in 2019. COVID-19 saw the market experiencing only a minor dip of 4% in 2020, showcasing its resilience as well as the emergence of smartphones in a more important role,” Malhotra said. In contrast, 5G smartphones accounted for less than 3% of the market in 2020.
But in 2021, the market for 5G devices will grow over eight times to reach 32 million units and make up 19% of the overall smartphone market.
“Our outlook for India for the next five years remains positive, keeping in mind its 1.39-billion (and growing) population, upgrade of users from feature phone to smartphone, and future emergence of new use cases. The market is set to cross the 200-million mark in the next couple of years,” Malhotra added.