The 3rd cycle of the Indian mobile market

Half a billion Indian’s are about to become smartphone users.


To explain the cycles, the 1st cycle is the proliferation of mobile telephony services with a massive population and area receiving connectivity. This was mostly limited to basic analog and feature phones.

2nd Cycle is where the feature phone stage has been reach. Analog phones are seen as inferior products. The consumer has developed the taste for technology and features which go beyond calling and texting. We are currently moving out of this cycle

3rd Cycle which can also be termed as the smartphone revolution.

India at this stage turn out to be the biggest possible market in the world. Almost all the users falling into the 18-35 age group with rising incomes and improving standards of living. India is on the precipice of a goldmine of demand ranging from smartphones to the myriad of services offered by apps. And this is the time for every major brand in the country to come over and participate in this incredible demand for products and services.

There has been a major development in the mobile space in India in the last few years. Many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) who have diversified from the traditional B2B model to a B2C model. There is the classic Indian example of Micromax which has cornered a significant share of the market in India with its >10k offerings. They have a phone worth 2k with Android’s Gingerbread version. Yes, just Rs. 2000 and you are part of the smartphone era. You have taken a major step to becoming a digital citizen.

As per data from TRAI, the number of mobile phone subscribers in India stands at a touch under 900 million active users (used the service at least once in a month) as of August 2015. This is divided in a rough 25%-75% distribution between smartphones and feature phones.

Another very important development is the Make in India campaign in which major Chinese OEM’s will be setting up manufacturing plants in India. Thus, their already low priced Android phones, will see their prices dip further when transportation and import duties are deducted and due to local manufacturing. This will make Android phones even more numerous with the benefit of lower cost, being passed on to the customers


The second largest population in the world is on the precipice of a major shift in its internal consumption patterns. We are going to see demands skyrockets compared to current standards. India is changing at a very fast pace and the number of opportunities are about to explode.

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