Ever since the advent of smartphones, USA and China have enjoyed top spots at the smartphone penetration level. Now, though the dynamics seem to be shifting, with USA about to lose its spot to India by 2017, according to Strategy Analytics.
India is a highly populated country with around 1.2 billion people, almost as much as China. But, even though China has a higher population, its smartphone penetration is high, same is the case with the USA. What this means is that most of the people residing in these countries already own a smartphone, and as time progresses, they replace their smartphones rather than buying new ones and adding to the number. How this plays out is that the growth is matured and slows down, since the number of people owning smartphones saturates.
When India is taken into account, of its 1.2billion population, more than 900 million Indians have an internet subscription, but of these only 110-120 million own a smartphone. This equates to around only 19% smartphone penetration in the country. Moreover, the report predicts that around 118 million smartphones will be sold in India in the year 2015, rapidly rising to 174 million units in the year 2017.
Another aspect that has helped this dramatic rise in smartphone ownership is the fact that people in India have a certain mindset about the products they buy. Indians rarely spend more on something if they can get the same or better affordable alternative. Local companies like Micromax develop affordable phones with specs that almost rival top flagships, and this is one of the major reasons for the sudden growth in this developing country. These local companies have also fought back and prevented to some extent the tech giants to establish a foothold in the country by always providing products priced lower than the international rivals. Same can be said of China with its numerous locally manufactured smartphones from companies like Xiaomi, Oppo etc.
Moving on, the reports predict that in 2016, China will remain at top with 624.7 million smartphones followed by India at 204.1 million and USA dropping to the 3rd spot with 198.5 million smartphones.