Smartphone trend to fade? Low cost 4G feature phones are going to rule 2017

The year 2017 is going to be about 4G feature phones. Yes, similar to 2016’s trend, this year 4G features phones are going to edge out smartphones.

The low-cost 4G feature phones are going to dominate the year due to affordability, durability and longer battery life.

"Feature phones dominated total handset shipments in India in 2016 and we expect this trend to continue in 2017.The continued relevance of feature phones makes India stand out as the biggest feature phone market globally (comprising about 30% of total volume),” JP Morgan told its clients.

It added with support for mobile banking and 4G capabilities (likely in 2017), feature phones will remain popular in the Indian market even in 2017.

It is expected the smartphone shipments in India in Q4 2016 will slide to 20-25% sequentially, taking the total for the year to 108 million units.

“The 4G basic phone category will delay the migration due to the subsidy element and could be disruptive for about a year,” Shubhajit Sen, chief marketing officer of domestic handset maker Micromax Informatics, told ET.

Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani is all set to disrupt the feature phone market with launch of 4G VoLTE feature phones at Rs 3,333.
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