Reliance’s Lyf may become a $1 billion brand by year-end: CLSA

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CLSA, in a recent note, said that Reliance's Lyf handset brand could well become a $1 billion brand in India by the end of the ongoing fiscal year, if it continues to manage 7% market share.

LYF handset

The brokerage said that the 7% market share of estimated 137 million smartphone sales in the ongoing financial year will result in sales of 10 million units, which could make LYF a $1 billion brand using an average selling price (ASP) of $100. This could drive a 31% year-on-year bump to Reliance Retail's FY16 revenue of Rs 216 billion.

The Lyf brand will benefit from the launch of Reliance Jio's 4G services as well as the ongoing smartphone boom in India, CLSA said, adding that Reliance Retail's strong distribution network, better brand appeals at entry level, and initial bundling of Jio's 4G services could significantly push LYF handset sales in the country.

The LYF brand emerged as India's fifth largest smartphone player in its first quarter since launch in the world's fastest growing smartphone market which is led by Samsung.

LYF cornered a 7% share of the smartphone market in the first quarter of the year, according to Counterpoint Research. CLSA noted that the surge in LYF's market share could be a result of channel filling, which though highlights an encouraging start.

LYF shipped around 1.7 million LYF smartphones into India from January to March. The brokerage said that LYF handset sales will also get a boost from the ongoing invite-based offer for Jio's 4G services, which is exclusively for buyers of LYF phones.

"Jio is currently offering its 4G service on an invite basis only if users buy a LYF phone. With users getting three months of free data usage along with a large quota of voice minutes and SMS, the value proposition of LYF phones has been further enhanced," CLSA said, adding that this could boost demand at least temporarily ."

Reliance Retail recently expanded its handset range with the launch of two new phones- Flame 2 at Rs 4,799 and Wind 4 at Rs 6,799 - which makes LYF attractively positioned versus competitor models, mainly in the entry segment, CLSA reckons.

LYF now has eight 4G smartphone models ranging from Rs 4,799 (US$70) to Rs19,399 (US$290).

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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