The explosive adoption of Smartphone in accordance with the higher penetration of internet has allowed people to leverage on any time information. In India – the third largest country by the number of internet users and the second largest country by number of mobile subscribers – mobile users are overcoming the conservative thoughts of mobile data security, resulting in higher penetration of mobile internet. The number of mobile internet users in India is expected to double between July 2013 and June 2014, according to a recent report from IAMAI titled – “Mobile Internet Users In India 2013“.
In December 2013, the number of mobile internet users in India was estimated to reach 130 million and will now grow up to 155 million by March 2014, resulting in a 19% Q-O-Q growth. This growth rate is likely to improve marginally in Q2, 2014 as the number of mobile internet users in India will touch 185 million with a 20% Q-O-Q growth.
Urban India will emerge as the main driver to this growth with 120% increase in number of mobile internet users between July 2013 and June 2014. The industry is expected to add 83 million new mobile internet users from urban cities during the stated period, compared to 11 million from rural cities of India.
The report also highlights that nearly 50% of active internet users, in both rural and urban areas, are accessing internet on their mobiles. The adoption and excitement towards social media, especially Facebook, has pushed mobile phone users to get internet on their devices, resulting in huge upsurge in mobile internet data consumption. Users’ mobile internet expenditure has gone up to 45% of total amount spent on mobiles from 43% in 2012.
However, a majority of mobile internet users in India are hooked to the basic or mid level mobile internet packages. Nearly 35% of mobile internet users in India spend anything between Rs. 100 and Rs. 500 monthly on their phones. Nearly 9% of mobile users spend more than Rs. 500 and a mere 2% are spending more than Rs. 1000 monthly on their mobile bills. The average monthly mobile bill in India is only Rs. 345, out of which 45% is being spent on mobile internet.
This depicts that mobile internet users in India are yet to understand the openness and advantages of using various services available through mobile internet and keeping their consumption below the 1 GB data in a month. In India 1 GB pack costs Rs 155/month on a 2G network and Rs. 255/month on a 3G network
While the consumption and number of mobile internet users in India are poised to go up, the average selling price of Smartphones has fallen to Rs. 7000 (US$115) in 2013 from Rs. 8,250 (US$135) in 2012.
Despite of such a commendable growth, India is yet to make a sizable contribution to the global Smartphone market. Only 3% of total Smartphones across the globe are being used in India. The situation of India is no different in Smartphone paid app market and in-app purchase markets.