Home / Mobile / New report shows how quickly India's tech and mobile market is growing – Business Insider

New report shows how quickly India's tech and mobile market is growing – Business Insider

mumbai skyline
Mumbai skyline at night.

If there’s been any doubt about India being the next major target
market for tech businesses, Kleiner Perkins partner
Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report should
make that clear as day.

The report, which spans 355 pages, dedicates 55 pages solely to
the state of internet and mobile access in India.

The first major takeaway is that the country now has 355 million
internet users, which amounts to roughly 27 percent of the
population of 1.3 billion people.

That’s up from 277 million in 2015.

Kleiner Perkins1Kleiner

Chalk that up to the falling prices of smartphones and mobile
data. The average cost of a handset is now far more affordable
than a decade ago, having dropped from about $270 in 2007 to
under $150 in 2016, and from over 25 percent of per capita GDP
down to 8 percent.

Kleiner Perkins2Kleiner

Data plans are now half what they cost in 2014 – and India has
major conglomerate Reliance to thank for that. The company’s
Jio carrier launched last September with
low-cost data plans on its 4G network that blew the competition
out of the water. Of the 108 million people who signed up for the
free trials, 72 million have converted into paying subscribers.

Kleiner Perkins3Kleiner

So yes, mobile internet use is certainly on the rise – since
2014, it’s skyrocketed from under 100 million GB a month to
nearly 1,200 million GB a month, with a 9x growth seen between
last June and March 2017. It’s not surprising that music and
video streaming has increased threefold and fourfold respectively
in that same short time frame.

Kleiner Perkins4Kleiner

The majority of India has also largely leapfrogged desktops to
experience the web – mobile devices account for about 80 percent
of all traffic, far higher than the global average of 50 percent
and that of the US at under 40 percent.

Mobile users in India are second only to China when it comes to
time spent on Android
phones (close to 150 billion hours). Facebook owns four of the top 10 most popular
apps across the country, while the rest include video streaming
services, a video player, an offline file transfer tool and
Truecaller’s caller ID app.

Oh, and of course, a browser – but it’s not Chrome or Opera.
Instead, its Chinese internet giant Alibaba’s UC Browser, which comes preinstalled
on a large number of devices. It currently enjoys 50 percent
market share nationwide, while Chrome is at roughly 30 percent.

 Kleiner Perkins5Kleiner

The report says that about 45 percent of the time people spend
with their phones is for entertainment, while 34 percent is taken
up by social media and messaging services. And at 28 hours per
week, mobile use also dwarfed the amount of time people spent
watching TV or reading print media (two hours each).

It’s also worth noting that 82 percent of Indians have now
enrolled in the Aadhaar digital ID program over the course of the
past six years. The unique 12-digit identifier is paired with
biometrics to allow citizens to access government services and
subsidies – but lately, it’s come under fire for not being secure
enough and being made mandatory by private organizations.

And while India presents tech companies across the world with
tremendous opportunities to capture a massive market, there are
significant challenges too. Many people in the country still
don’t have formidable spending power, and education and
infrastructure are still lacking. Stringent regulations and high
registration costs for starting a company in India bring its
global rank in the ease of doing business down to 130 out of 190

Still, it’s evident that India’s internet and mobile scene is
hotting up incredibly quickly, and the time is ripe for companies
to enter the market and get to grips with its idiosyncrasies and
hurdles to score big bucks in the future. You can
check out the entire report

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