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More than a Quarter of India’s Population Will Use a Smartphone This Year

Smartphone market in India is the highest growing in the world

May 3, 2018 (London, UK) – In India, 337.0 million people, or more than a quarter of the population, will use a smartphone in 2018, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast.

The number of smartphone users in India will grow by close to 16% this year—the highest growth rate of any country in the world broken out by eMarketer.

Since its last forecast, eMarketer increased its estimate for the smartphone audience in India by more than 31 million people. This uptick is thanks to the growth in smartphone usage in urban areas, where affordable smartphones are becoming widely available.

From an advertising point of view, since TV draws large audiences in India, that is where the majority of ad spending traditionally has gone. In recent years, however, as smartphone penetration has increased, mobile ad spend has also risen. eMarketer expects strong double-digit growth to continue: Mobile ad outlays in India will rise by 75.0% in 2018, accounting for more than half of all digital spend.

“India still faces technological challenges that are holding back mass smartphone adoption,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Mobile internet speeds are among the slowest in the world, around two-thirds of the population still lives in rural areas, and feature phones are by no means obsolete. That being said, advertisers can still be optimistic about the future. Smartphones are getting cheaper, mobile data prices have fallen and urbanization continues. Over the next four years, as speeds and rural reach improve, eMarketer expects the smartphone audience to reach close to half a billion users.”



eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.


About eMarketer

Founded in 1996, eMarketer is the first place to look for research about marketing in a digital world.  eMarketer enables thousands of companies worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behavior and get the data needed to succeed in the competitive and fast-changing digital economy.  eMarketer’s flagship product, eMarketer PRO, is home to all of eMarketer’s research, including forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer’s free daily newsletters span the US, EMEA and APAC and are read by more than 200,000 readers globally.  In 2016 eMarketer, Inc. was acquired by European media giant Axel Springer S.E.

Sheelagh Doyle
Senior Director, Global PR and Communications
+44 (0) 203 510 1595

Posted on May 3, 2018.