Smartphone Adoptions Quite expectedly, the GSM Association has stated in a report that India will be lead the world in smartphone adoption in 2016-2020 with the projected number stated to be around 350 million net additions. GSMA Intelligence Senior Analyst Gu Zhang told PTI, “India will lead the growth with around 350 million net smartphone additions.” In a report titled GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2016 which the association conducted across 56 countries to find out trends in mobile usage, it was concluded that the developing world would be adding 1.6 smartphone connections between the present year and 2020. The adoption will be driven mostly by countries like India, Indonesia and China.

Moreover, smartphone adoption across the markets in developing countries will rise from an average of 47 per cent in 2016 to 62 per cent in 2020.

Smartphones are already enjoying adoption rate worldwide. It accounted for 51 per cent of mobile connections in 2016 with the penetration higher than feature phones in all countries except regions in sub-Saharan Africa. Even in the developed countries, smartphone adoption remained at a high of 65 per cent in 2016.

“At 65 per cent in 2016, the developed world has reached a mature level of smartphone adoption. Assuming that there will continue to be some residual demand for basic and feature phones as well as data-only devices, we expect only incremental smartphone growth in this region from 2018,” Zhang told PTI.

What this high rate of adoption entails is that people will be using more and more internet and as a result, revenues will now be more dependent on data and less on voice calls and text messages. The dependence in the developing countries on internet-operated services like online shopping, mobile banking are currently half of what it is in the developed world.

“To mitigate against this threat, operators in developing countries must look to offer smartphone content that is both accessible and relevant to local consumers and revenue-generating. By focusing on the development of a smartphone ecosystem combined with a data-centric pricing strategy, operators can stimulate mobile data usage and generate sustainable revenues from their early investments in mobile broadband infrastructure,” Zhang told PTI.

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