The forecast report also claims that with increased penetration of smart feature phones across the world, new business and revenue opportunities, will also be created
The revenue opportunity from increasing sales of smart feature phones is expected to be in the region of US$28 billion over the next three years. A report by Counterpoint Research also claims that while the trend to migrate to smartphones is strong, less tech-savvy users and first-time users continue to prefer a feature phone form-factor and user interface (UI).
According to Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research “This will be enabled by a potential of more than 300 million smart feature phone users globally by the end of 2021. Software and services alone will contribute to 71 per cent of this near- to mid-term revenue opportunity, or around US$20 billion.”
Reasons smart feature phone market will grow
The reports said that less tech-savvy users and first-time users prefer feature phone form-factor and user interface. Literacy rates below 70 per cent in India and many African countries also fuel the sales of smart feature phones.
The report said that moving to a smartphone is a steep learning curve for such users. It is also a reason that there are still two billion active users of feature phones in the world. As per the report, this space between smartphones and feature phones, will be filled by smart feature phones.
“The global smart feature phone demand grew 252 per cent year-on-year in 2018 – albeit from a low base, contributing roughly 16 per cent of the total feature phone volumes. While India is the biggest contributor to this demand, major markets that have driven smart feature phone sales include the United States, United Kingdom, South East Asia and Africa. We estimate that smart feature phones will cross more than half of global feature phone volumes by 2021,” said Tarun Pathak, associate director at Counterpoint Research.
The report read, “Reliance Jio has been fastest to see the opportunity and adopt the platform to acquire tens of millions of 2G feature phone users to its 4G network with its KaiOS-powered 4G smart feature phone.”