NEW DELHI: With smartphones turning smarter every passing day, it is the domestic players and new Chinese entrants to the market that continued to challenge global giants like Apple and Samsung in 2015 and the New Year can be much more exciting with the expansion of 4G services.
Emerging as a big force in the global smartphones market during 2015, India saw about 75 million devices being shipped in the first three quarters of the year. The pace of the blistering growth was further strengthened by the online channel as many handset makers added e-commerce only devices.
The strong pace is expected to help India replace the the US as the second largest market globally, after China.
“Smartphones as a category have grown at a phenomenal pace this year and this is across price points. In the coming year, there will be a lot of action in 4G as operators expand coverage. With 4G network rollout, India will become one of the biggest mobile internet markets in the world leading to the launch of many services that consumers can benefit from,” homegrown Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.
About 40% of smartphones being shipped are already on 4G and more than 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones can be there by 2018, he added.
A major driver of this growth has been online sales.
“One in three smartphone in October was sold using the digital platform. With a lot of discounted offers, ‘exclusive-to-online’ products accounted for about 17% of the total smartphone volumes, while the overall online including marketplace touched around 25% of the volumes,” he added.
The online platforms gave a lot of Chinese brands an easy launchpad for India without much investment in the distribution and service channels.