Feature phones are taking India back...to the future

While smartphones take over the world market, a smaller revolution has been brewing in the subcontinent!

Smartphones are currently out of the financial reach for most of India’s population. Aware of the difficulty of converting users of feature phones (low-end mobile phones) to smartphones because of the price barrier, an Indian telecommunications company has created a true game changer: JioPhone1 — a hybrid device that enables a 4G connection with internet and apps on a feature phone interface.

Launched in July 2017, JioPhone was made available free — users paid a low security deposit and subscribed to a usage plan — and took the domestic market by storm. In the December 2017 quarter alone, the company reportedly shipped a record-breaking 15 million units2. Having overtaken their competitors in a matter of months, JioPhone now commands the majority market share of the feature phone market, providing some 150 million customers with fast internet connection from virtually anywhere in India. Users of the phone can now access apps to search and secure jobs, obtain vital services and watch as many movie flicks they want!

Just as Indian enterprises search for new technologies to empower lives, Eastspring Investments’ constantly seeks companies that add significant value to an investment portfolio.

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