The exploded adoption of smartphones due to declining ASP (Average Selling Price) is resulting in an enormous surge in the number of mobile internet users in India. According to the latest report from IAMAI, titled Mobile Internet In India 2016, the country is estimated to have 371 million mobile internet users by June 2016. India will attract 65 million new mobile internet users coming onboard during the period of six months, ending June 2016.
When we put these growth figures of mobile internet users in India along-side the total number of internet users in India, mobile emerges as the clear winner. According to the another the previous report from IAMAI, the number of total internet users in India will reach 462 million mark by June 2016, a 31% YoY growth during the first half of 2016. The percentage, however, is way below than the estimated 56% YoY growth in the number of mobile internet users in India during the same period.
Mobile Internet Users In India: Urban vs Rural
The latest IAMAI report further highlights that 71% of the estimated 371 million mobile internet users in India will belong to Urban area. However, the rural area still holds an enormous potential to drive the future growth of mobile internet in India. In 2015, the number of mobile internet users from rural area doubled from 2014 and in 2016 the growth percentage is estimated to outclass all the previous figures.
As the number of mobile internet users is increasing with each passing year, mobile users in India are becoming more data hungry. In 2015, the share of mobile internet spend in the average monthly bill rose to 64% from 54% in the previous year. However, this has a clear impact on the cost of accessing mobile data that fell about 18% in 2015. These changes can be attributed to the fact that with the improving mobile infrastructure and the availability of improved high-speed 3G and 4G connectivity, people are shifting to apps and internet for most of their activities. The dependency on Voice call has been reduced and people are rather preferring the internet on their mobile phone to make more informed decisions.
If clubbed together, the growing consumption of mobile data and impressive growth in the number of mobile users in rural India portray an interesting scenario; In Tier 2, Tier 3 cities of India the consumption of mobile video content is much higher than those from urban India. According to the latest report from Cisco, Mobile video traffic in India will grow at 83% CAGR between 2015 and 2020. Video content will account for nearly 50% of total mobile data consumption in India by 2017. The report from IAMAI emphasizes on the fact that 52% of internet users from rural areas access the internet for the prime purpose of entertainment, followed by 39% for social media and 37% for communication. Interestingly, m-commerce fails completely to lure mobile users in rural areas. As rural India has been clocking more than 100% YoY growth in the number of mobile internet users and publishers are focusing more on creating video content in entertainment category nowadays, the total consumption of mobile data in the rural area would soon outpace urban India.
Smartphones Are Driving The Mobile Internet Growth in India
In the last few years, India has witnessed a humongous growth in the sales of smartphones. The Indian debut of many Chinese smartphone manufacturers, likes of Xiaomi, CoolPad, Vivo, Oppo, is resulting in lowering Average Selling Price (ASP). The price sensitive market, as India is known for, is flooded with sub-$150 smartphones has squeezed the upgrade period of feature-to-smartphone. Even, many first-time mobile phone users in India are directly jumping to sub-$90 smartphones. Such trends have helped to the country to witness the fastest ever smartphone growth to 239 million smartphone users by the end of 2015.
The massive adoption of low-price smartphones is allowing the users to carry their digital world with them. The lowing cost of mobile data and free accessibility to the internet via WiFi in many areas, is fascinating smartphone users like never before. Consequently, the average consumption of mobile data per smartphone user in India is expected to reach 2.08 GB per month by 2020, up by 384% from mere 430 Mb in 2015, claims Cisco.
The growth in the number of mobile internet users in India and the mobile data consumption in 2016 would largely be influenced by the adoption of smartphone and rich media content. In the country of 1.3 billion people, mobile phone subscriptions in India has already reached 1 billion mark. It’s the number of mobile internet users and smartphone users in the country that will create big waves in the next few years.