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Home / Tech / Over 77% of India goes online through their smartphones

Over 77% of India goes online through their smartphones

This 50 crore plus smartphone user base is 15% more than what it was in 2018

tech Updated: Jan 30, 2020 18:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
According to a new report from market research firm, over 50 crore Indians are using smartphones right now. This is a 15% rise from the numbers in 2018.
According to a new report from market research firm, over 50 crore Indians are using smartphones right now. This is a 15% rise from the numbers in 2018. (Indranil Bhoumik/Mint)

According to a new report from market research firm, over 50 crore Indians are using smartphones right now. This is a 15% rise from the numbers in 2018. The report by techARC states that this boost in numbers has primarily been driven by brands like Xiaomi and Realme who have being bringing in new users with their budget offerings.

TechARC’s report mentions that India has 502.2 million smartphone users as of December 2019. And that means that over 77% of Indians are going online through those smartphones.

While a both Xiaomi and Realme should be credited for getting India online, Samsung led the smartphone space in 2019 with a 34%. It was followed by Xiaomi (20%), Vivo (11%) and Oppo (9%).

Also Read: India beats US to become 2nd largest smartphone market in 2019

“After a slow migration rate from feature phones to smartphones for a couple of years, it’s good to see that the market has started to expand again,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC said in a statement.

While the smartphone market has phones in the sub-Rs 5,000 segment, Indians seem to prefer buying devices that fall in the basic segment of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 – to start their smartphone journey at least.

When it came to percentage net addition to the user base, Realme topped this list with a 49%, with Vivo and OnePlus coming in second and third with 44% and 41% respectively in 2019. The percentage increase is what the companies garnered between 2018 and 2019. Samsung, Xiaomi and OPPO added 9%, 25% and 36%, respectively to their user base in 2019.

Also Read: For the first time ever, Vivo is number 2 in the Indian smartphone market

“Factors like availability of good-quality affordable smartphones, expansion of online as well as offline channels, expansion of 4G/LTE networks by the operators are among the key reasons driving the smartphone user growth,” said Kawoosa.

These numbers are rather promising if we consider it from India getting more connected and coming online point of view, however, the story is going to be something else for smartphone companies here on.

The future is going to be challenging because the Indian markert is now heading towards saturation in terms of ‘addressable market’, Kawoosa said.

The next goal for smartphone brands should be to ramp up services where they can consistently generate revenue from the existing customers. At present, smartphone brands are able to generate between $0.5-$1.5 a month from users depending on what all the services they offer, including advertising.

Also Read: China’s BBK Group keeps its lead over Xiaomi in the Indian smartphone market

“Even if a brand is able to generate $1 revenue per user per month, with a base of 50 million users to be there for an average of 3 years, this means a revenue potential of $1.8 billion from services alone,” the findings showed.

The other strategy for smartphone brands would be to offer accessories and other connected electronic devices like smart TVs and smart speakers.

Vivo, OPPO and Realme will be the three main gainers for 2020 in terms of additions to the net user base, forecast the techINSIGHT report.

“Realme could enter in top five brands by installed user base displacing Lenovo MBG (Lenovo + Motorola) brands. Xiaomi will continue to exhibit growth in user base while Samsung could start showing off decline in its user base or grow with a low percentile,” the report added.