The global smartphone industry is seeing a slowdown according to American research firm Gartner, Inc. However the Indian smartphone market continues to grow. According to IDC 32.3 million smartphones were shipped in India in Q4 2016. That’s an increase of 23% over the figure of 24.9 million in Q4 2015. Alongside the U.S. and China with 222.9 million and 601.8 million users respectively, India with 340.2 million users is already one of the three largest markets for smartphones in the world. India is home to 20% of all mobile phone subscribers with a further half a billion new smartphone users expected in the next 3 years.
Smartphones are proving to be the primary device for enabling the digital world in the region. Not only are over half of internet users solely mobile, nearly 60% of users accessed the internet for the first time on their mobile phones – a clear contrast to many other countries, where desktop and laptop are the first devices used.
Indian retail customers are taking strongly to mobile commerce, with nearly 83% of people owning a smartphone shopping online on their mobile phones.
In particular, customers in the age group of 25-34 are taking to their mobile phones to shop online, with 90% of customers in this group doing so. Online shopping is only set to grow with 31% of those who have not shopped online thus far saying they planned to do so in the future.
India has 4G connectivity available in only a selection of few cities. Fast networking options in the others is still limited to 3G connectivity. For a population of 1.2 billion, there are 300 million internet users amongst which 180 million are smartphone users, with around 90 million subscribing to 3G plans. At around 8 per cent, India has a very low penetration of 3G usage. This is expected to go further down with the recent availability of 4G networks.
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