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Feature phone shipments account for 21 percent of all 1.88 billion mobile phones shipped. Feature phones account for 1 in 5 of all mobile phones bought worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics.
Samsung has shipped 52.3 million feature phones for 13 percent share in 2016. Samsung’s popular feature phone model is Xcover 550.
Nokia, run today by HMD Global, shipped 35.3 million feature phones for 9 percent share.
Though Nokia has struggled in smartphones, it maintains a very good reputation for delivering user-friendly feature phones at competitive prices, such as the Nokia 230 Dual SIM.
TCL-Alcatel held third place with 7 percent feature phone share globally in 2016. TCL-Alcatel has lost ground in smartphones, but its feature phones remain in demand among price-sensitive consumers in Latin America and elsewhere.
Device vendors are seeing demand for feature phones in emerging telecom markets such as Africa and India. Phone consumers like the low prices and simple usability of feature phones.
Strategy Analytics said profit margins for feature phone manufacturers tend to be fairly small, and companies like Nokia or Samsung will have to maintain high volumes and tight cost control if they want to sustain profitability in the future.