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Last updated: December 17, 2016 at 15:41 pm

4 Major Changes Which Transformed Indian Smartphone Market In 2016!


Smartphones (not just phones) have actually become a major part of our day to day lives. And after the recent demonization move to push cashless economy, the importance and relevance of smartphones have increased exponentially.

If you are a tech enthusiast, telecom industry observer or a smartphone user, then 2017 has to be an exciting year for you.

If you are wondering why, then here are 4 major changes which Indian smartphone industry witnessed in 2016, which is all set to transform 2017 for Indian smartphone market:

India Is Now World’s 2nd Biggest Smartphone Market

2016 saw India, a developing country, overtake US, a developed country, to become World’s 2nd largest smartphone market, just behind China. This major milestone was breached in February this year, when total smartphone userbase swelled to 220 million by the end of 2015; and is right now 250 million.

By the time 2016 ends, it is being expected that there shall be total of 280 million smartphone users in the world.

Except China, there is no other country in the world which can boast of such a massive user-base of Internet enabled smartphones.

2017 certainly promises to be a big one for India and Indian smartphone market! (and the trends are quite visible right away: During Q3 of 2016, 30 million smartphones were shipped in India for the first time in history!)

Aadhaar linked Smartphones

In the history of Indian tech industry, 2016 shall be remembered for the massive push for unifying three major components into one single, secured eco-system: bank account, mobile number and Aadhaar card.

In order to achieve that, Govt. of India initiated major drive to enable the functionalities of Aadhaar based encryption into every smartphone used in India.

The process is still on, and Govt. is right now negotiating with smartphone manufacturers and OEMs to enable this feature, and induce a higher level of technology-enabled functionality into everyday life of an Indian citizen.

Make in India Push

Government of India’s Make in India push continued with full vigour in 2016 as well. Right from Boeing to Tesla; Apple to Xiaomi, every major tech brand and manufacturer is doing everything to get into the Make in India bandwagon, and contribute towards the growth of Indian economy.

In April, we reported that Govt. will now closely monitor and observe the Make in India results, and this infused a fresh lease of energy into the whole program. Even Flipkart decided to ditch Chinese products, and opt for ‘Make in India’ as a result.

Such is the intensity and energy derived from this campaign, that Chinese state-run media had to comment about this phenomenon, and warn their local manufacturers against it.

Calibration of Brand Dominance

Tech observers will especially note this fact, which gained momentum in 2016; brand dominance of smartphone makers fluctuated considerably, all through the year. If we leave aside the mammoth presence Apple devices in this comparison, then we will find every smartphone maker struggled to maintain their position, and there is no assurity of any stability in this niche.

If in July, Samsung Galaxy Note 5 was crowned as the global leader, then by September, the image and branding of Samsung so deteriorated that DGCA had to announced banning of their Galaxy Note 7 handsets insider aircrafts. Never in the history of aviation, such diktat been issued against a brand.

If Micromax overtook Samsung in May, their sales dropped for the first time in the month of November as sales of Chinese handsets like Xiaomi, Asus etc gained momentum.

Maybe that is why Micromax has decided to take on Chinese majors right in their own land in 2017.

What are your observations about 2016, when it comes to smartphones and gadgets? Do let us know by commenting right here!

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  • 2016 has been a great year for the Indian telecom industry. Make In India campaign has motivated many cellphone manufacturers. Let’s see how they perform in 2017.

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