The latest entrant in the fast-growing 4G feature phone market, Nokia, is betting big on the category that has created enough buzz in the last year since the new telecom player Reliance Jio launched its 4G feature phone at dirt cheap prices.
Nokia, the erstwhile leader in the mobile handset market, made a comeback in India in December 2016. Earlier this month, HMD Global launched its first 4G feature phone — Nokia 8110, more popularly known as the Banana phone.
Banana Phone belongs to the Nokia classic series. The Nokia 8110 was first launched in September 1996 but later was overtaken by touchscreen phones.
While Nokia 8110 is priced at Rs 5,999, Jio’s 4G phones start at as low as Rs 501.
“The current market conditions make it difficult for mobile handset brands to venture into 4G feature phones, except a few, like HMD and Lava. To counter the pricing of Jio phones, mobile handset brands require economies of scale with adequate support from telecom service providers. But this is not the case as of today,” said Prabhu Ram, principal analyst, and head – Industry Intelligence Group, CMR.