4G is blooming in India, and everyone is in a rush to launch a 4G feature phone. This all garnered interest after the announcement of Reliance JioPhone. Airtel is planning to launch a Rs 2000 4G feature phone. Indian manufacturer Micromax is also planning to launch the Bharat One with collaboration with BSNL. Other Indian brands like Intex and Lava are also working on similar devices. Nokia is also set to exploit this segment of the market with a low-cost 4G device targeting the 4G device business like Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Airtel.
Nokia which is owned by HMD Global now recently announced that it would not bring the 3G Nokia 3310 to India. According to them, the local market lacks interest in 3G phones. They released the 3G enabled version in Australia along with apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype.
Nokia has four feature phones in the Indian market including the newly launched Nokia 3310. But none have 4G connectivity support. Ajey Mehta, India VP for HMD Global told the Times of India, “Feature phone is a critical category, and we see operators as a partner here. There is a sizeable volume in this segment, roughly 10 million devices monthly. Nokia has traditionally been strong here, and there is a huge opportunity.”
Commenting about the JioPhone, he said “JioPhone is going to have an impact on the segment, and there is no question about it. We are watching how this materialises. If we see a viable business proposition, we will consider it and participate,”
The data wars between the telecom giants are favouring these types of phones in the market. The JioPhone was the first to announce their device at the pricing of 1,500.
Mehta also added a device may be expected soon and could be coming in months. He also remarked that “We are working on it, We are talking to Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone for 4G VOLTE devices. We are exploring all opportunities “.
Looking at his words, we can be sure that Nokia is about to make a 4G feature ultra-affordable phone with collaboration with a data company. Though the name is not announced, we are assuming it to be Nokia 3310 4G. A market research firm Counterpoint Research around 25 million units of 4G feature phones will ship by the end of the year. From that Reliance will ship 6 million units of JioPhone in the first batch, it is now a race among the manufacturers to announce the next 4G feature phone.