According to research firm International Data Corporation, smartphone shipments in India will rise to 155.6 million by the year 2017 and India will be ranked number three behind China and USA in terms of market size.
The report states that for the year 2013, more smartphones will be shipped than feature phones in 2013 across the world, which will be the first such occurrence in the mobile phone market on an annual basis.
The report states that vendors will ship 918.6 million smartphones this year, or 50.1 percent of the total mobile phone shipments worldwide.
As far as India is concerned, IDC notes that India's year-over-year smartphone shipment growth will be the highest among the top countries by a wide margin as the vast majority of the country's wireless subscriber base currently use feature phones. The smartphone market will grow due to a variety of factors including greater availability of low-cost devices and additional sales emphasis by top-flight vendors on less populous parts of the country. In addition, 3G network coverage will continue to expand while 4G networks are expected to stimulate smartphone growth from 2015 onwards.
In 2013, India's smartphone market will see 27.8 million units shipped which represents a 3 percent market share for smartphones. By 2017, these shipments will rise to 155.6 million units which is a massive 459.7 percent jump when compared to 2013.
The report notes that China will continue to be the world's largest smartphone market in 2013 and will hold that position in 2017. In 2013, the smartphone market in China will be 301.2 million units which is a 32.8 percent market share, while in 2017 the units shipped will be 457.9 million units which will be 30.2 percent market representing a 52 percent jump from 2013.
The report notes specifically that low-cost handsets based on the Android operating system and to a lesser degree iOS will do well in China. While shipment volume to the country will remain at the top, growth will slow towards the end of the forecast period. Also, smartphone prices are expected to fall amid increased competition. Consequently, China's share of the global smartphone market will be diluted somewhat as more smartphones are shipped to India, Brazil, and other emerging markets.
As far as US and UK is concerned IDC expects slower growth in the years ahead.
Brazil is another key developing market. The report notes that tax breaks for vendors that create jobs via local mobile phone production, along with greater subsidies on Wireless Internet service will drive smartphone sales. The successful rollout of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks in Brazil is key to the country's smartphone market growth.