Many still await the launch of Reliance Jio‘s 4G LTE services, which is expected to disrupt the 4G space in the country. In the meantime though, Reliance Digital is making waves in the smartphone space and has quickly climbed up the list of smartphone vendors in the country. A Counterpoint Research report states that in Q1, 2016 Reliance’s LYF brand has become the fifth largest smartphone vendor in India with a market share of seven percent.
Reliance Digital shipped around 1.7 million LYF branded smartphones in the first quarter of 2016, helping it garner a market share of seven percent. With this, LYF is placed below the likes of Samsung — the market leader with 29 percent market share — and Micromax (17 percent), Intex (10 percent), and Lenovo (8 percent). The report also states that LYF has also quickly become the second-largest LTE smartphone provider, with only Samsung in front of it.
“In the first quarter of its inception, LYF instantly climbed to become one of the top five smartphone brands in India in terms of shipment volumes,” Tarun Pathak, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint says. “Jio with its massive LTE network and scale could be the key player to watch out for as it has already become the second largest LTE phone supplier during the quarter.”
Under the LYF brand, Reliance Digital has launched four series of smartphones called Fame, Water, Fire and Earth. The smartphones in these series are priced between Rs 5,500 and Rs 19,500 and all have two features in common — VoLTE and VoWiFi support. They are also preloaded with a bunch of Jio apps like Jio chat, Jio Money, my Jio, Jio Beats, Jio Mags , Jio express news, Jio on demand, and Jio play. Last month, the company also launched a bunch of LYF branded 4K LED TVs priced between Rs 65,990 and Rs 199,990.
Becoming the fifth largest smartphone vendor in just four months of launch is sure an impressive feat. Reliance Jio has been testing its yet-to-be-launched 4G LTE services with its employees who no doubt use LYF-branded smartphones. Jio has also said that it is testing its services with around half-a-million users, most of whom use LYF-branded smartphones as well.
The report however says that the shipments seen in the first quarter are more of ‘channel filling’ and we will see the actual number of devices sold in the next quarter when the operator starts marketing and promotional activities.
LYF’s fairytale rise aside, Samsung continues to dominate the mobile phones market in India, courtesy of its new launches like the flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge smartphones, as well as the recently launched Galaxy J series.
Chinese brands like Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo recorded impressive growth numbers of 35 percent, 183 percent and 759 percent respectively. The Chinese smartphone brands in total made up for around 21 percent of mobile phones shipped in the first quarter of this year.
Pointing out a few trends in the Indian smartphone market, the research report states that more than 45 percent of mobile handsets shipping in Q1 were smartphones, two out of three smartphones were 4G LTE capable. Over 60 percent of the devices shipped had a display bigger than 5-inch, and one in three smartphones shipped were powered by a MediaTek processor.