India has emerged the fastest-growing smartphone market in the Asia Pacific region during 2015 with 103.6 million units shipped, a 28.8% increase over 2014 according to the IDC. However, within the smartphones category, a bigger change is happening. In the last quarter of 2015, for the first time ever, more 4G devices were shipped than 3G-enabled. At 13.9 million out of the 25.6 million smartphones shipped, 4G-enabled devices accounted for 54.3% of the market. Much of that increase is driven by the continuously falling price points for 4G devices.
As more smartphone companies start making their devices in India, expect prices to fall further. Smart phone manufacturing is among the big drivers of the Make-in-India programme of the government. That is evident from the numbers. During the last quarter of 2015, almost half the smartphones were manufactured domestically. That number is only expected to increase over the coming quarters. As if that was not enough, now 3G devices priced at R500 could be available soon. To top the low device prices, telecom service providers are offering 4G connectivity to subscribers at 3G prices. The rush for faster connectivity with 4G services—at present, there are about a million 4G subscribers—is expected to gain steam by the middle of the year, by when 4G access is expected to be in place almost all over the country. Get set to ride the data bandwagon on low-cost devices soon.