The JioPhone drives growth in the feature phone market as well as the 4G market

Feature phones may not be considered to be the trend but the JioPhone (opens in new tab), with 4G VoLTE and campaigned as ‘India ka Smartphone,’ continues (opens in new tab) to create waves in the market. 

As the 4th quarter of 2017 ended, the JioPhone is seen emerging as a leader with 27% market share (opens in new tab). Not only is it ahead of Samsung (opens in new tab), who is at 14% market share, it has managed to bring the feature phone market to the forefront with 36% sequential growth.

Driving growth across the board, JioPhone’s shipments apparently grew five-fold in the fourth quarter. They’re locally manufactured boosting verticals in the economy and with more phones being produced it the coming quarter, Jio expects even better performance. 

The smartphone market, on the other hand, showed a decline of 19%. Xiaomi (opens in new tab) and Samsung still being the top two players, they expect the market to witness a revival once Samsung launches it’s own online strategy that focuses on enterprise business. 

The 4G market alone showed positive growth which is a surprising since December is normally considered to be a lean period. Prabhu Ram, Head-IIG-CMR, says this is probably the economy recovering from demonetisation with the Indian handset market touching historic highs. 

What’s interesting is how the 4G market grew. In its 19% growth, 4G smartphones declined by 17% while 4G feature phones grew by a whopping 546%. 

Does this mean that 4G is finally getting the market penetration it deserves? And are the reports of the JioPhone getting Android (opens in new tab) true? We'll have to wait and watch. 

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.