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India embraces affordable 4G and 5G phones for digital acceleration, CMR study finds

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update

A recent report by CyberMedia Research (CMR) has highlighted significant shifts in the Indian mobile phone market, with a growing trend towards digital acceleration and an increasing demand for affordable 4G and even 5G smartphones.

The study, involving over 2,000 mobile phone users in major Indian cities, shows a strong preference for feature phones that offer long battery life, ease of use, and affordability, alongside digital capabilities.

Feature phones users growing demands

Feature phone users are not just looking for basic call and text functionalities; they demand more from their devices. 78% of users prioritize longer battery life, while 74% value ease of use.


More than half of the respondents are looking for affordability without compromising on digital capabilities. This has led to three-quarters of feature phone users expressing an interest in upgrading to smartphones, especially within the INR 6,000 to INR 8,000 price range.

itel leads in meeting consumer demands

itel has emerged as a leader in the feature phone segment, outpacing competitors like Samsung in overall satisfaction. The brand claims to have achieved an 86% conversion rate from trial to current usage, indicating strong brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. 

The company attributes its success to focus on user-friendly design and cutting-edge features that cater to the needs of a vibrant, youthful audience.

Arijeet Talapatra, CEO of Transsion India, said, “it’s focus on device features & and user-friendly design not only advocates user preference, but also ensures that individuals in deep Bharat stay connected with their loved ones, access important information, and become important part of India’s socio-economic development. At itel, our unwavering focus on research and development enables us to deliver cutting-edge features tailored to our vibrant, youthful audience in both feature phone and smartphone category. Renowned for our trustworthiness and unbeatable value, we are dedicated to understanding and meeting the evolving needs of Gen Z and New Bharat.”

The rise of smart feature phones

Despite the popularity of feature phones, the limitations of these devices, including poor camera quality, lack of advanced apps, and limited internet access, are pushing users towards more advanced smartphones.

The CMR study reveals that Indians spend an average of 3 hours daily using their phones for calls, alarms, and texting, with a significant number also using apps like weather, news, and social media. This shift underscores a growing demand for a premium feature phone experience, blending traditional simplicity with modern digital capabilities.

The future of mobile telephony in India

The CMR report indicates a bright future for brands like itel that offer both feature-rich phones and affordable smartphones.

With high brand awareness and impressive conversion rates, itel is well-positioned to capitalize on the wave of upgrades from feature phones to smartphones. Prabhu Ram, Head of the Industry Intelligence Group at CMR, notes the increasing consumer desire for feature phones that offer a premium experience, signaling a shift in the market dynamics towards more affordable yet technologically advanced mobile phones.