Rising Internet Penetration, and Falling Prices Propel Indian Mobile Phone Market

Article By : Frost & Sullivan

Rising internet penetration and falling smartphone prices have been fueling India's mobile phone industry growth, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Rising internet penetration and falling smartphone prices have been fueling India’s mobile phone industry growth, according to latest research from Frost & Sullivan.

As smartphone demand wanes worldwide, the Indian mobile phone market remains underpenetrated and is growing. This presents substantial opportunities for every mobile value chain participant. The total mobile phone market (feature phones and smartphones) is forecast to generate INR2.4 trillion in revenue by 2026 from INR 1.4 trillion in 2022, recording a 14.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). In terms of volume, the Indian mobile phone market consisted of 255 million units in FY22, which is likely to grow at a CAGR of 9.7% to reach 370 million units by FY26. Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, and OnePlus, comprised 71% of the smartphone market share in India in FY22, while foreign (excluding China) and Indian brands accounted for the remaining 25% and 4%, respectively.

“Government mandates and support in terms of legislative and financial incentives are critical for the mobile phone market, influencing its growth,” said Rajkumar Elilarasu, Senior Consultant, Industrial Practice at Frost & Sullivan. “Additionally, the government’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is helping mobile manufacturing companies increase their year-on-year sales. Currently, India is the second-largest exporting nation for mobile phones and is fast becoming a global manufacturing hub.

“India has the potential to export mobile phones worth about $100 billion and components worth $40 billion by FY26. India-manufactured phones are popular in the Middle East and North Africa region, offering India considerable export market potential along with domestic sales.”

To tap into the growth prospects brought about by India’s booming mobile phone market, manufacturers should:

  • Focus on mobile phones with advanced features: The rising demand for affordable mobile phones with higher processing speeds, RAM size, and storage presents lucrative growth opportunities.
  • Emphasize designing mobile manufacturers’ own applications (apps): Mobile phone users in India downloaded an estimated 20 billion apps in 2021, with forecasts predicting this number to increase to over 35 billion downloads by 2025. This growing demand can create a pathway for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to develop their own applications.
  • Explore contract manufacturing: OEMs can manufacture for other brands with their manufacturing setups to attain scale advantages. This will provide additional revenue streams and maximize the return on investment of manufacturing facilities.
  • Address urban and rural markets: OEMs’ online presence boosts sales in urban areas, whereas an offline presence is vital to reach customers in rural areas.
  • Utilize the increasing adoption of 5G mobiles in India: The 5G mobile phone market is likely to spike after the launch of 5G spectrum bands by the government, which is expected by the end of 2022.
  • Emphasize exports to establish a global footprint: The Indian government’s PLI scheme is expected to increase the total number of mobile brands exporting from India and help them generate more export revenue besides domestic sales revenue.


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