Nearly 200 million 4G-enabled feature phones will be sold in India in the next five years, triggering a slow-down for the domestic smartphone market, a new report claimed on Wednesday.
"We estimate close to 60 million units of 4G-capable feature phones could ship this year globally from almost a million units last year, with India potentially contributing to almost half of that this year," said the analysts from market research firm Counterpoint Research.
In terms of hardware revenues, it is a $6 billion (roughly Rs. 39,274 crores) opportunity cumulatively over the next five years in India.
"More than 400 million feature phones were sold globally in 2016 and we saw smartphone market growth slow down to 3 percent (year-on-year), portraying that the easy days of smartphone growth are over," the report stated.
The smartphone growth slowing down and the feature phone decline slowing down is the polarisation of market in terms of technology as well as user base.
"This is making a case for the rise of 4G capable feature phones with the core value proposition being VoLTE calls and move the users to the cost efficient 4G networks. We estimate more than half a billion 4G capable feature phones will be sold over the next five years, a 'big short-term opportunity' for players in the mobile industry," the analysts predicted.