Smartphone shipments in India are rising, but most phones sold in the country are still “dumb,” according to research from International Data Corporation (IDC). In Q4 2014, 35% of mobile phone shipments in India were smartphones. That was up from 28% earlier in the year.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) and KPMG expected smartphone sales in the country to rise from 79 million in 2014 to 114 million this year and 256 million by 2019. eMarketer estimates that as of the end of 2014, there were 123.3 million smartphone users in India, or 10% of the country’s total population.
Mobile phones—which is to say, in this case, smartphones—were also the top device in India for using apps, FICCI and KPMG found. Just 29.0% of app users said they used a tablet to access their apps, vs. 70.0% who chose mobile phones.
And although eMarketer estimates that more than eight in 10 internet users in India access the web via mobile phone (including some users that also access the internet via PC or other devices), FICCI and KPMG reported that the vast majority of digital ad spending was focused on the desktop—and would be for the foreseeable future. Last year, they estimated, just INR5.2 billion ($85.3 million) of INR43.5 billion ($713.6 million) in total digital ad spending went toward mobile. By 2019, the proportion was expected to rise to 16.7%.
eMarketer forecasts more aggressive growth for mobile as a percentage of digital ad spending, from 10.7% in 2014 to 56.6% by 2019.