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Here's why India is becoming the next big smartphone hub

You should pay close attention to the Indian smartphone market; it’s changing the Android world. A combination of interesting factors have created an environment where sales of smartphones are booming and innovation is flowing. Come find out why India is becoming the next big smartphone hub and how this will affect the US market.

Mumbai, one of the centers of India's techicalogical innovation. / © Roshan Nikam, flickr

The Indian smartphone market is heating up

This week, AndroidPIT covered the launch of the new Moto G4 and G4 Plus in India. Lenovo's choice of location was no accident. It's moving into a market where it sees potential for its flagship smartphones. The company read the numbers and decided to capitalize on the potential customers available for its devices.

Looking at the data, one thing is for certain: the Indian smartphone market will soon eclipse the American market. Currently, there are 204 million smartphone users in India and 207 million in the United States. But by the year 2019 there will be 317 million in India and 236 million in the US. Soon, India will have more smartphone owners than the total population of the US.

In the next decade, India will have more smartphone users than the entire population of the United States

This growth in Indian smartphone users is driven by an expansion of the Indian economy and more disposable income by its people. India is now the seventh largest economy in the world and is rapidly growing. Advances in infrastructure and education have spurred investment from domestic and international companies into an advanced, growing workforce. With these factors, it’s no wonder that we see smartphone companies looking to India first. But there are other factors as well.

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Lenovo chose to launch its new Moto G line in India, targeting this market. / © ANDROIDPIT

Chinese companies expand to India

Oftentimes, when up-and-coming Chinese manufacturers expand out of their domestic market, they first dip their toes into the Indian market. At MWC, Xiaomi announced it will be expanding to India before the US market and other companies could soon follow suit.

For Chinese companies, a move into the Indian market is a natural market progression for them. India is close geographically and some smartphone components – and indeed entire devices – are already manufactured in India. Since the market is expanding, it’s a safe bet for Chinese companies. And they can test out sales of their new devices before hitting a US market where Apple's hostile legal hurtles ominously await them.

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There is less of an investment for Chinese companies because India is close geographically. / ©

Innovation is flowing from India

But there’s more to the story of why India becoming the next smartphone hub. We’ve already seen a boom in apps coming from out of India and there are tons of Indian developers working on innovative new programs. Apple recently announced it would open an accelerator in Bangalore (Bengaluru) – considered the center of India's startups. This should translate to more Android apps too as more investment and facilities are added to India.

There are far too many Indian-made apps to list here, but a few internationally popular apps developed in India include: SMS Blocker, Parking Frenzy and Zomato. With the many developers in India, we will see more apps hitting the world market.

There is an app bonanza in India that's driving more innovation

Indian Android device manufacturing will give Chinese companies a run for their money. There are already more than ten major smartphone manufacturers in the Indian market, and some of their prices are quite low. With all this smartphone consumption, development and manufacturing, India is becoming a smartphone hub and this will have ramifications beyond its domestic market.

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Zomato is a popular app developed in India. / © ANDROIDPIT

Effects on the US market

Increased competition by Indian manufacturers will lower the prices of Chinese devices. More devices at lower costs for consumers will force companies to find more cost-effective ways to innovate their smartphones. This will give every consumer a wider selection of devices and will lower smartphone prices in the US.

More app development in India will create a richer app culture and give the US market a bigger selection of apps to choose from. More developers in the app creation game will make apps more plentiful.

Overall, the US market will be positively affected by India becoming a new smartphone hub due to increased competition and more innovation. Smartphones will be cheaper and there will be a larger selection of apps in the Play Store. Now that's something to be excited about.

What does all this mean for Android? Let us know in the comments.


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  • Lalit
    • Admin
    4 months ago Link to comment

    Nice on @Cory despite living in India from my childhood even I didn't know these many facts ! Thanks for making me feel proud ! :)

  • Here people see an iPhone as a status symbol.

  • Vaibhav 4 months ago Link to comment

    More and more smartphone users in India means much more kids and teenagers wearing glasses and having health issues due to lack of physical activity. Along with that there would be more people suffering through FB syndrome!! Add to all this, increasing number of smartphone users is directly proportional to the ever increasing number of rapes and molestation of women in India, if you decipher what I mean!!

  • Alex R. 5 months ago Link to comment

    Thats so great!!awesome article!Kudos Chris !!from India!!...

  • One more information to think about: every phone in India comes unlocked out of the box. There is no contract or anything. So OTA updates should be fast enough if OEMs roll them out quickly.

  • there are a lot of indian smartphone youtubers.

  • Sherzod Abdujabborov
    • Admin
    • Staff
    5 months ago Link to comment

    Absolutely! We already feel the influence of the Chinese manufacturers - Oneplus and Xiaomi are much cheaper than most of the flagship phones from the global brands. And that is great! The markets in China and India are quite specific - while there are millions of people who could afford S7s and Apple phones, there are dozens of millions who couldn't. And catering to their needs is key to dominating these markets. So this trend will lead to even more cheaper flagship killers in the next 2-5 years.

    It is almost like the phone revolution - the masses overturning the elitist members of the phone society. =D

  • Anna S.
    • Admin
    • Staff
    5 months ago Link to comment

    Smartphones are a clear status symbol in India and really everyone is using one - from the tuk tuk driver to the Hindu priest. There are and will be a lot of niches and segments for manufacturers to cater to - what makes it also for us in Europe or the US extremely interesting. Already now there is such a wide selection of smartphones we do not even know. I love switching to unknown brands and I think we can explore many hidden champions when looking into the Indian market.

    • Alex R. 4 months ago Link to comment

      Why are you always calling Indians as drivers and there are more than 4+ religions in India and Christianity being the second largest religion in India ,we are so modernized please stop this driver and Hindu priest and sadhu you people go to one part of the country and call it India and that's not India and India is so huge and humongous,As my name suggests I'm a catholic Christian.

      • Anna S.
        • Admin
        • Staff
        4 months ago Link to comment

        Hey Alex, I'm sorry if you felt insulted by my comment this was absolutely not intended. Indeed I love India even though I have -as you said- only seen a little part of it. I am very well aware that there are way more professions than tuk tuk driver and also more religions in India that Hinduism. My choice of examples was random and of course does not represent a whole nation. Many people associate Germany - my home country- with beers & cars, andof cours ethis is not true either. But it's an example of what can be seen or expected... So cheers Alex, I know that India is very heterogenic and manifold!

      • Alex R. 4 months ago Link to comment

        Thank you for this comment and this made me happy!!!:) cheers!!

  • "OK Google what's the population of India ?....."
    over 1.3 billion, 17.5% of global population...
    so I think they are going to change and influence smartphone tech and Android as much as the Chinese and Americans ...

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