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OPPO, Xiaomi India Market Encounters A Roadblock
- Oct 29, 2018 -

"This Ambani doesn't seem to be accustomed to playing cards by the routine. If this is not the case, Jio will become a roadblock for Chinese mobile phone brands." As early as a few months ago, I understood the notes published by CyberMedia Research. When the data was verified by a senior industry veteran in India, he sent out such feelings.

According to research data from CyberMedia Research (CMR) in early August, Jio Phone ranked first in the Indian mobile phone market with a market share of 27% in the second quarter of this year, leaving Samsung behind. The product line of the Indian mobile phone brand covers functional machines, smart phones, and a fusion model of the Fusion phone. The report also shows that J2 India's feature phone market share in Jio Phone is about 47%, Samsung is 9%, Nokia is 8%.

Today, with these three main product lines, Jio Phone is likely to rise rapidly in 2018 under the leadership of his master, India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani. A few days ago, the Chinese Taiwan media analyzed the report: Jio Phone benefited from the help of Hon Hai Group (Foxconn) production line. In 2018, the overall shipment volume may reach 30 million, becoming the world's tenth largest mobile phone brand.

If the result is true, this can be regarded as a small miracle created by the Indian mobile phone brand, because the Jio Phone generation has only been in business for more than a year since its launch in August 2017.

Does Ambani and his Jio Phone rely on "cracking down the master", or are there other unique cheats, and they have quickly risen in the Indian market in such a short period of time? After squeezing Samsung's market share in the quarter, will he have a huge impact on the Chinese mobile army? Where is the foundation of the world's tenth largest mobile phone brand?

When it comes to the rapid rise of Jio Phone, it is naturally inseparable from the important figure of India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani. Ambani's industry covers a considerable number of areas, and he can connect with the mobile phone circle, mainly from the company: Reliance Jio. The Chinese mobile phone army can quickly occupy the Indian market in the past two years, and it has a huge relationship with this faithful communication.

As a telecom operator, Reliance is one of the most "young" of Amway's many assets of Reliance Industries. When Ambani cut into the domestic telecom operator market in 2016, he faced a chaotic situation like the seven heroes of the Warring States.

Prior to the entry of Reliance Communications, more than 10 telecom operators in India competed in the market, with the smallest five occupying 21% of the market. The largest Bharti is 25%, the market leader, Idea Cellular is ranked behind, and Vodafone (India) ranks third.

The faithful communication led by Ambani is a direct spoiler. After the operation began in mid-2016, Reliance Communication immediately took out the killer on September 5: 4G network service is free. This is also the reason why the reporter friend who understands the notes said that he did not follow the routine.

Originally, this free is only promised for four months, but by mid-December 2016, Ambani had a big wave: continue to be free until the end of March next year. So Xinshi Newsletter soon has nearly 100 million network users.

In the past two years, the number of users of Reliance's network access has dropped from zero to 220 million, and all of them can enjoy low-cost 4G network services nationwide. During this period, the price of its user growth was sustained capital investment, which also led many competitors to merge or withdraw from the market.

At the carrier level, the top Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular led to a sharp decline in operating results due to the zero profit strategy of Reliance Communications. The latter chose to merge with the Indian subsidiary of the Vodafone Group in October 2017 and tried to surpass Bharti to become the largest operator in the market.

But in the end, Reliance Communications jumped to the runner-up in the market in the second quarter of this year, slightly ahead of Vodafone India. After two years of reshuffling the Indian telecoms operating market, Ambani said that although it has pushed the market's profit to zero, India's new growth in smartphone users has transformed the local mobile phone market into the world's largest wireless data. consumer group. With the rapid spread of users, the profitability of Trustee Communications has also emerged two: Jio Phone and massive user data.

First of all, as a telecom operator, Ambani has both played the referee and played the game. In the launch of the first generation of Jio Phone, Reliance Communication still adopted the free card and super affordable exchange ideas.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Reliance launched a Jio Phone with a price of approximately RMB 157. It is equipped with the quasi-intelligent operating system KaiOS, which can use 4G network and can run the functions of most 4G mobile phones. And this 157 yuan is still a deposit, as long as the use of the letter network communication services will be returned to the user. As for the cost of network use, not only the traffic is free, but the monthly fee for the old user's package is no more than 10 yuan (RMB), and the new user's monthly fee is also less than 30 yuan.

According to DIGITIMES Research, the research and development organization, Shinsei Communications launched Jio Phone in September 2017, and completed about 18 million shipments at the end of last year.

When the Jio Phone 2 smartphone was launched in August this year, the faithful communication still dominates the low-price strategy, including the mobile phone price of only 280 yuan (RMB), which can be replaced by the old mobile phone (paying about 50 yuan); To enrich and improve, the configuration is also much stronger than the first generation: including 2.4-inch screen, 512MB RAM and 4GB ROM storage, support for Micro-SD card expansion, rear 2 million pixel camera, front 300,000 pixel camera, support 4G network , NFC, etc.

As a result, we have seen a new round of growth for Indian mobile phone users, including Jio Phone shipments, which are increasing month by month until Q2 exceeds Samsung mobile phones this year.

According to analysis by relevant market research institutions, India currently has more than 1 billion Internet users, of which about 380 million users do not have smartphones. In the next two to three years, these potential consumer groups will also become a new force in the smartphone market through upgrades and purchases.

Another research firm, eMarketer, also predicts that about 337 million people in India have smartphones in 2018, which is equivalent to more than a quarter of the population. At the same time, the number of smartphone users in India is likely to increase by nearly 16% next year.

From the relevant reports, Jio Phone's current "converged mobile phone" is not only more popular in the market, but also adopted by other brands such as Micromax and Lava, which has increased certain shipments.

In an interview with Indian media in September, Mukesh Ambani said that as many as 50 million rural people have affordable smartphones in the past eight months, this incremental market is likely to be more likely in the future. Suitable for Jio Phone. And he will continue to build a deep fiber optic network system across the country by increasing investment and ensuring that each region is connected to the highest quality network.

In the future, Chinese mobile phone brands may encounter more challenges from local brands in rural markets and government procurement. In a recent report by Counterpoint Research, Jio Phone and Micromax won an order for about 5 million smartphones from the Chhattisgarh government in India in the third quarter.

According to estimates by CLSA, by March 2020, the number of subscribers to Reliance will reach 414 million. Compared to its current network of nearly 220 million subscribers, the future incremental market for Jio Phone handset users should not be underestimated. This is also an important reason why relevant market research institutions estimate that their overall shipments will reach 30 million units this year. From these different data sources, Jio Phone, which focuses on “free” and “low price” strategies, will not only defeat other Indian brands, but also Chinese mobile phone brands including Xiaomi, OPPO and vivo, in the low-end. The market has encountered a blockade.

The Indian media’s evaluation of JioPhone is not to be praised.

The local media described this civilian mobile phone: People can use JioPhone to make video calls, play games, watch movies, chat online, shop and listen to songs; but Jio didn't stop there, the R&D team is using the built-in chat robot system in JioPhone. This will save time and manpower - just click on the microphone icon on the JioPhone, the Google Assistant will pop up the voice order, the user can ask the assistant to call or video call a person's friends and relatives, and the phone starts dialing; Jio Phone will also join The driving assistance function, in the future, is developing an application and Jio chip that can detect overspeed or any abnormal driving activity, and the chip can retrieve and store the driving mode.

This may seem a bit confusing, but Ambani's second monetization path happens to be user data. He has said that he is currently developing Jio's smart home project, and is working intensively with Amazon's Alexa to realize the smart home dream for Indian consumers as soon as possible.

To this end, Reliance Communications is also developing a voice interaction device interconnected with Jio mobile devices that can wake up by voice, control these peripheral devices to control lighting brightness and air conditioning temperature, kitchen utensils in the kitchen, and search and play TV channels and movies in TV. Episode.

In the view of local professional media in India, Trustee Communications is no longer a telecommunications company. At present, the various technologies developed by Trustee Telecom for a large amount of time and money are not limited to the telecommunications industry, but from the smart home and smart car projects to the transformation of small traditional retailers in India. “Jio is ambitiously committed to providing digital life to India,” said a local technology media.

Today's Reliance Communications has a very core business philosophy of building a strong customer base. From the initial phase for seven consecutive months (September 2016 to the end of March 2017), it has been providing free network and data services. These strategies have made Letterpress Communications increasingly popular in the local market, because for the current Indian users, the vast majority of consumers will choose more cost-effective products and services, rather than big-handed.

In addition to the media analysis we saw earlier, we can also see these new developments from some public data: two new directions that Reliance Communications is studying, and one is to adopt a low-cost improvement plan when promoting intelligent home ecological construction. One is to change the way small retailers do business and help them grow their business in the “new retail” era.

Many Indian families can't afford smart TVs or smart speakers, kitchen utensils, and some people can't wait to throw away old home appliances, but users still want to experience technological advancements. For this purpose, Reliance Communications proposes a solution that includes simple cables: cables and small components to connect legacy equipment and appliances to enable them to connect and support advanced features based on artificial intelligence.

In addition, Reliance Communications has designed a device for small retailers. This device is similar to a professional walkie-talkie, which can swipe, touch and pay, scan barcodes, process online orders, and calculate tax returns that need to be submitted to the government. This device is very helpful because many small stores cannot hire chartered accountants to help them with tax calculations.

At the same time, these initiatives will also help small shop owners to carry out their own business in more and more online shopping and consumption. In this way, they can operate physical stores and online stores.

In summary, this Jio Phone is likely to have a major impact on the expansion of Chinese mobile phone brands in India in the future. Not only in the mobile phone product level, but also in the more ecological products and Chinese mobile phone brands, Internet companies to form a broad competition.

Relying on India to make this hand

In addition to having an ecosystem, deep cooperation with the KaiOS operating system, and the support of massive user data, the rise of Jio Phone is also inseparable from the strong support of the supply chain. Third-party research organizations have determined that their 2018 shipments are expected to grow to 30 million units. In addition to market-level analysis, strong supply chain support is also an important reason.

Jio Phone has been commissioned by Hon Hai Group and imported into India for local sales. In the future, Jio Phone hopes to rely on Hon Hai's technical strength and supply chain capabilities in mobile phone manufacturing to produce Jio Phone locally after Hon Hai has landed in India. This idea is also based on the Indian manufacturing strategy proposed by the Indian government.

Local media in India reported that Foxconn executives met with government officials in the central Indian city of Nagpur in early July. According to the report, Foxconn has already informed the state that the factory agreed by the two parties a few years ago will be established in the special economic zone of the port of Jawaharlal Nehru and has bid for 45 acres of land there.

Foxconn executives also said that the factory will be officially named Hon Hai Precision Industry in the future. It is reported that Foxconn will find more than a few acres of land in the state to build new plants in addition to the current land acquisition.

In fact, as early as 2015, Foxconn signed a memorandum of understanding with the local government, saying that it will invest 5 billion US dollars to establish a factory in Maharashtra for the production of mobile phones and components. It is expected to create 5 by 2020. Ten thousand jobs.

At the same time, many mobile phone companies in China have gradually begun to establish production lines and factories in India: In addition to Huawei's construction in Tamil Nadu, India in 2016, Xiaomi has successively established three factories in India. In April 2018, Xiaomi once again proposed to build three new factories, one of which was to cooperate with Foxconn to build a PCBA factory in the industrial park in Tamil Nadu; in addition, OPPO was also in Greater Daida, India in 2016. The plant was built with an investment of about 2.26 billion yuan. In May last year, the Chinese Taiwanese company Wistron Capital's factory in Bangalore began production of the iPhone SE. However, Foxconn’s investment plan in Maharashtra has been making little progress.

In addition to the close cooperation with Foxconn at the foundry level, the company has always made a lot of efforts for Foxconn to produce locally in India. Now, with the efforts of all parties to implement Foxconn's plan to build a plant in India, Jio Phone will no longer rely on imports, but will complete the manufacturing of mobile phones in India. This will also continue to increase the cost advantage, and even export mobile phone products overseas, laying a more solid foundation.

Behind the fact that Reliance Communications is trying to "crowd" Foxconn's factory, it is India's strategy of creating "Made in India" in the mobile phone industry and even more industries. Among them, major local brands such as Jio Phone, Lava, Intex, Micromax and Karbonn in India will all be more helpful in this “Made in India”.

Smartphone maker Lava is a small, unseen company in the Indian mobile phone industry, and it is now thriving in the local government's ambitious “Made in India” program. A few years ago, Lava imported cheap mobile phones (ODMs) from China. Today, it has built its own factory in two factories in the suburbs of New Delhi, using its own production lines and equipment for mobile phone manufacturing. These factories employ about 3,500 people and are undergoing expansion plans.

How to make mobile phone companies become the global hub and typical representative of Indian electronics manufacturing seems to be the common goal of the Indian government and the local mobile phone industry.

According to the Indian Mobile Phone and Electronics Association, in the past three years, more than 120 new manufacturing companies have created about 450,000 jobs in the field of mobile communication equipment, thanks in large part to “Made in India”. "Strategy, as well as the implementation of strict tariff policies on imported (electronic) products.

The Indian government has previously proposed that in order to create tens of millions of new jobs in the manufacturing industry, although it has been hindered in many aspects, the huge market demand and production capacity of domestic smart phones in India have already included Jio Phone. Many local mobile phone brands have begun to emerge, providing opportunities to increase employment. The rapid expansion of global smartphone companies including Samsung, Xiaomi and OV in the Indian market has brought tremendous pressure on the local mobile phone industry, but it has also driven the development of component suppliers and the upstream and downstream industry chains as a whole.

With the mobile phone manufacturing giants such as Foxconn landing, or these Indian mobile phone brands will gain more power in the market competition, this will become an important factor that Chinese companies have to consider when they expand their territory in India.