AT 43% year-on-year growth, India is the only exception to the flat growth that internet has witnessed across the world, says the annual Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker of investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Arguably the most authoritative report on the internet across the world, it says while there are 3 billion global users now, the growth has fallen to around 9%.
India now has 277 million internet users surpassing the US and second only to China, says the report. Despite this, just about 22% of the Indian market is penetrated, offering scope for huge growth, particularly in mobile.
However, the report puts India along with countries like Indonesia where there are medium to high barriers due to challenges
in incentives and infrastructure to acquire new users.
Another significant aspect of the report is the fact that smartphone shipments are slowing globally, recording a 21% growth in users and just 10% rise in shipments. This is down from 31% for users and 28% of shipments. Asia-Pacific contributes the largest number of users at 52% of the global users. This was just 34% in 2008, showing how the dynamics have shifted.
Also, at $158 per unit, India has the lowest average smartphone cost, though it is about 10% of the per capita income.