India will overtake the US as the second largest market for smartphones in the world by 2016 as smart mobile devices become affordable, global research firm eMarketer said on Monday.
"India will exceed 200 million smartphone users, topping the US as the world's second largest smartphone market by 2016 due to increasing penetration of affordable smart mobile devices in the country," the US-based research firm said in a report.
By this year-end, China will have 519.7 million smartphone users, followed by the US at 165.3 million, India with 123.3 million, Japan with 50.8 million and Russia with 49 million.
Russia will, however, surpass Japan as the fourth largest smartphone user population in 2015 and the US will surpass 200 million smartphone users by 2017, accounting for 65 percent of its population.
"China will continue to lead the world rankings in 2016 with 624.7 million smartphone, followed by India (204.1 million), the US (198.5 million), Russia (65.1 million) and Japan (61.2 million)," the report said.
Globally, there will be 1.91 billion smartphone users in 2015 and increase by 12.6% the following year to touch 2.16 billion in 2016.
The number of active smartphone users globally touched the one billion-mark (1.31 billion) in 2013 for the first time, with China in the lead at 436.1 million, followed by the US (143.9 million), India (76 million), Japan (40.5 million) and Russia (35.8 million).
"Over a quarter of the global population will use smartphones in 2015 and by 2018 one-third of consumers worldwide (2.56 billion people) will do so," the report noted.
Indonesia will pass 100 million smartphone users in 2018 to become the world's fourth largest user country of smart mobile handsets.
"While smartphones are shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage in mature markets, cheaper handsets are creating opportunities in emerging markets where many users of smart devices had no access to the internet," the report added.