4G Feature Phones priced at Rs 1500 coming soon

Lava launched 4G VoLTE feature Phone for around Rs 3000, Reliance Jio also working on Jio feature Phone now according to Chinese mobile chipmaker Spreadtrum Communications it is working on reducing starting prices by at least half from the current levels to come up with Rs 1,500 4G feature phone

“We are working on a technology that makes a Rs 1,500 4G feature phone viable. We have already started concept promotions to our partners,” Spreadtrum Communications’

Prices of 4G feature phones from home-grown manufacturers such as Lava and Micromax start at about Rs 3,000. Both these handset makers, besides Karbonn, plan to reduce prices of such phones further.

Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications, which has seen a steady growth in baseband chip segment, competes with mobile chip makers such as MediaTek and Qualcomm. Chipset is an integral part of a mobile handset that accounts for a major price share of a device.

Spreadtrum Communications has a two-year-old partnership with Reliance Industries and has powered its affordable LYF Flame 5 smartphone. It has also powered Lava M1 4G-enabled feature phone, which is priced at Rs 3,599. The company said that it takes nearly six months between a technology reaching readiness and devices hitting the market shelves.

Sharma said it will be interesting to see how the operators fine-tune their strategy at a time when the market is skewed towards data play as voice segment has become stagnant.

“The market has completely shifted from 3G to 4G in the last six months and with a disruptive technology, vendors should attune their go-to market strategies,” he said.

Sharma said LTE feature phones offering additional value should be packaged in a more attractive way and targeted to be sold in tier III locations and rural areas in tandem with growing data market.

Handset makers are focusing on low-cost 4G feature-rich phones to ride on the growing opportunity offered by Jio’s disruptive data pricing and aggressive plans by rivals Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.


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