Reliance Jio has taken a toll on several other handset manufacturers with the launch of the effective free JioPhone. As a result, many companies are in plans to launch their budget smartphones and 4G feature phones to compete with Reliance.
We have already seen that Airtel is in talks with the handset manufacturers to launch the Rs. 2000 priced 4G feature phone. Even Micromax is in plans to launch such a phone called Bharat One along with BSNL. And, domestic manufacturers such as Intex and Lava are also working on similar devices. These are not the only ones that we can expect to see in the coming months. We say so as it looks like Nokia is also in plans to enter the 4G feature phone market.
According to a report by Economic Times, Nokia is looking forward to enter the league with the launch of a JioPhone rival. HMD Global's India VP, Ajey Mehta has hinted that HMD might launch a feature phone with 4G capabilities. The report quotes him saying that JioPhone is definitely going to face an impact on the segment. He has hinted that they are looking for a viable business proposition and will consider participating in the same.
For now, Nokia has four feature phones in the Indian market including the newly launched Nokia 3310. But none of these devices have 4G connectivity support. The JioPhone has been a trendsetter in the feature phone segment as it offers 4G support. And, it has inspired the other manufacturers as well to launch such offerings.
According to the market research firm Counterpoint Research, around 25 million units of 4G feature phones are expected to be shipped by the end of this year. Given that Reliance will ship six million units of the JioPhone in the first batch and the other manufacturers lining up their offerings, we are sure that this number will increase.