Jio Phone was the best selling mobile phone in India in the second quarter of 2018 with 27 percent market share, according to a CyberMedia Research (CMR) data. The report claims Jio Phone gave birth to a new category called 'Fusion' phones - handsets that have 4G connectivity and apps in a closed ecosystem, but limited smart functions in a feature phone's body. While it is the market leader in this new segment, smaller players such as Micromax and Lava are launching 4G feature phones too. A new variant of the Mukesh Ambani-led company's handset, named Jio Phone 2, will be released on August 15.
"The second quarter of 2018 saw the arrival of Fusion phones as a distinct category. Though it is primarily driven by Jio Phone, Indian brands like Micromax and Lava are also shipping in smaller quantities," said Narinder Kumar, Lead Analyst, IIG-CMR.
One in four mobile handsets is now being manufactured in India at a completely knocked-down (CKD) level.
"In Q2 2018, there are two trends underlining short-term turbulence. First is the impact of Jio's disruptive monsoon offer leading to erratic demand projection estimations for all major handset brands. Second is the capabilities of smaller players to switch to CKD manufacturing and maintain production levels with their own SMT lines," said Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
Reliance was followed by Samsung at 17.2 percent market share in the mobile handset market.
"In a first for mobile handset brands in India, mobile handset shipments are set to cross a 300 million milestone by the end of 2018 and smartphones will outstrip feature phones and Fusion phones collectively by 2020," the report said.
"Smartphones above Rs. 4,000 are being shipped with 4G connectivity. LTE handsets grew 104 percent compared to the same period last year," the report added.
Will Jio Phone 2 help WhatsApp, YouTube reach the next billion users in India? We discussed that on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.