With more than 220 million active smartphone users, India has finally surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market in the world. Despite this impressive feat, experts believe there is lot more to come. Although India stands at the second position in the smartphone market, the mobile penetration of total potential population is still looming at 73%. All this has attracted leading smartphone companies to set up their manufacturing base in India.
Make in India gives boost to India’s smartphone market
The Make in India initiative of the Government of India and the potential of India’s smartphone market has led to leading smartphone companies like LG to set up a manufacturing base in India. As per the company’s announcement, the South Korean electronics major sees a big market for locally made smart phones and plans to set up a factory that will manufacture 1 million units of smart phones in a year. Other device makers such as Xiaomi, Lava, Gionee, Micromax and OnePlus have already started their phone assembling units to cater to the huge smartphone market in India.
Low-cost smart phones to encourage Smartphone adoption in India
As per market reports, the high cost of smart phones is a major hindrance to smartphone adoption. However, indigenous smartphone companies like Micromax and Karbonn are launching devices that cost anything between 3,000–10,000 INR/US$50–US$165. This has allowed the lower income group to buy smartphones and be a part of the digital revolution that is changing India.
The smartphone adoption is also growing due to the fact that 98.9% of the Indian population does not have access to fixed line broadband connectivity. Industries like banking,health, education, retail, and entertainment have started offering compelling services to Indian masses. This has led to an increase in Internet traffic from smartphone devices. If you look at the Internet access statistics, more than 50% of Indian users access the internet from smart phones; most of these users are from Tier 1 or Tier 2 cities. If you look at the internet access trends, the smartphone will become the first and the only device used by a majority of Internet users, to access Internet and services provided through it.
Multi-functionality and mobility characteristics make Smartphone more desirable.
The smartphone is no more a tool for communication only. Today, it is used for social networking, email and also for searching information. You will be surprised to know about the creative uses of smart phones, beyond its standard features. With the advent of newer technologies, it is easier for businesses to reach customers(with smart phones) even while on the move. The e-commerce boom has also helped in the adoption of smart phones in India, as many e-retailers are offering exclusive app only offers to customers to encourage the use of smart phones for shopping.
Growth trends of the Indian smartphone market, in the near future
The adoption of the smartphone in India is on a steady rise and it has already surpassed the number of desktop users in the country. As per the latest statistics, by 2019, the number of smartphone users in India could reach 657 million from the current user base of 277 million. This can be termed as a phenomenal rise that attracts businesses from smartphone, telecommunications, and retail sector. Easy access to Internet is also one of the factors for smartphone market boom in India. Amongst the new user base there will many users who will be accessing Internet for the first time from their mobile devices.
India likely to experience M-commerce boom
It’s clear and evident that the world has shifted from desktops to smart phones. Leading businesses have already taken note of this new trend and many have already jumped the bandwagon of m-commerce. Big, international retailers like Amazon, eBay have already taken notice of the increase in mobile commerce and are making the buying process easier on mobiles. As per Counterpoint Research, by 2017, India could have 730.7 million mobile user base.
Despite the increase in the mobile user base, the smartphone penetration has only reached 30%. However, this picture is likely to change with smart phones becoming more affordable,attracting a large section of the low-income group.
Source : IMT