The year 2016 saw India emerging as the second largest smartphone market in the world with 220 million users. We surpassed the US market this year and are now second only to China. And the action has just begun.
The number of smartphone users is expected to touch 270 million in 2017 and with penetration levels below 30%, the Indian market offers immense opportunities in the coming year. We will see more and more smartphone brands entering the Indian market and government driven initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India will only attract more players in the mobile value chain.
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Rising disposal income, emergence of a large base of millennials and the tag of the fastest growing economy will also see Indians adopt more and more smart devices in the coming year.
The year 2016 saw a huge adoption of 4G devices and we expect Samsung to sustain its leadership position in the 4G space in the coming year as well.
Smart devices will continue to drive innovations in the areas of cloud, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things in 2017, as slimmer and more powerful devices with improved camera capabilities along with long lasting batteries make their way.
Samsung has not limited itself to just smartphones but has also been a major player in the wearable market. With rapid adoption of technology and upgraded product debuting each day, wearable technology seems to have become one of the biggest innovations and a priority in the lives of many. Wearables such as Samsung Gear S2 have become key drivers for health conscious Indian consumers.
Another significant trend that is changing consumer behaviour apart from wearable technology is the advancement in consumption devices and technologies like VR (Virtual Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) along with the growing digital content supply and distribution. The industry has already seen some major leaps towards VR technology in 2016 which will be further propelled in 2017 due to the rising popularity and application of VR in different fields. AI has also reached a critical tipping point and will increasingly be incorporated in majority of the mobile devices to enable an enhanced and seamless mobile experience.
The year 2017 is expected to see a huge adoption of 4G devices along with development of rich content, creation of a cashless ecosystem and major progress in service offerings. While the industry is preparing itself for the impending surge, the government is also driving citizens towards digital transactions with demonetisation besides promoting its Digital India mission.
With the cashless economy taking shape, the mobile phones will become an important component in driving the transition. Smartphones will truly become complete mobile wallets and security would play a critical role as we transition to a cashless society.
The author of the article is Manu Sharma, VP, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics