Reliance Jio LYF

Reliance Jio owned LYF smartphones recorded a 13% market share among all LTE smartphones shipped in India during Q1 FY16, said a report by Cyber Media Research (CMR). LYF smartphones held the third place among the top three vendors shipping LTE smartphones in India; Samsung held the first place with a 32% market share while Lenovo held the second with a 14% market share. In the previous year, Xiaomi held the third place among LTE devices in India with a 10% market share during Q4 FY15, according to data released by CMR.

The latest development comes after research firm IDC said that LYF smartphones accounted for 7.1% of India’s entire smartphone market in terms of device shipments during Q1 FY16. LYF smartphones also over took Lava as the fifth largest smartphone vendor in the same quarter. In the preceding quarter, Lava held a 7% market share.

How LYF smartphones are slowly acquiring market share

LYF branded devices entered the market during Q4 FY15, i.e. around late January. At the time launch, 3 smartphone models were available for purchase at Reliance Digital stores only. Currently, Reliance Jio has 14 different models with LTE in their smartphone portfolio, which is available through Reliance stores and other ecommerce sites as well. It has 4 models below Rs 15,000; 5 other models below Rs 10,000; and 4 other device models under Rs 5000. Its costliest phone is Rs 19,500.

Reliance Jio missed launch of its commercial telecom services in March this year. So the telco has been giving SIM card with 4G to consumers on invite-only basis, which works on LYF smartphones only. Restrictions like these and competitive pricing strategies by making cheaper devices under Rs 5K and Rs 10K could have helped LYF smartphones acquire a record share among shipments in the country.

LTE shipments specific to categories  

Over 15.8 million devices with LTE were shipped in India during Q1 FY16; out of these, 97.9% were smartphones followed by data cards at 1.5% and the remaining 0.6% were Tablets. The report adds that the smartphone industry was the first to sweep up category-share when the LTE age arrived in India, however it expects other categories to catch up soon with the growth of LTE in India.

In Tablets: Samsung, Apple and iBall were the top three leading brands shipping LTE enabled devices with 58%, 16% and 12% market shares respectively.

In data cards: Huawei, ZTE and Micromax were the only three players shipping 4G devices in the Q1 FY16 with 40%, 31% and 29%, shares respectively.

Data cards shipments are growing: LTE data cards with or without SIM cards have already started contributing towards category share as in this quarter (Q1 FY16), CMR points out a 0.5% increase in LTE data card shipments, compared to a 1% increase during the entire previous financial year (FY 2015).

“While every emerging devices brand in India prefers Smartphones for obvious potential growth reasons, we see number of brands shipping Tablets and DataCards on the decline.  This is leading to the lesser option for consumers in Tablets and DataCards in particular. There’s headroom for growth for other 4G devices as well and it is time for India brands to emerge strongly in these device categories too,” said CMR in the report.

Other highlights from the report

– 63% of the entire LTE devices shipped during this quarter (Q1 FY16) were cellular based

– A total of 42 brands shipped Smartphones, data cards and Tablets with LTE support.

– Micromax is the only brand having presence in all the three product categories (i.e. smartphones, data cards, and Tablets).

– LeEco smartphones that were launched recently accounted for a 2.4% share among 4G smartphone shipments in India.

– Huawei is expected to acquire more LTE market share in the future, as its LTE DataCard shipments are on the rise.