Smartphones popular, but not in India

Smartphones may be a worldwide hit, but they have yet to catch on in India.

According to a new report from Nielsen, just 10 percent of mobile phone customers in India own a smartphone. That’s well below the rate not only of developed countries like the United States, but also of India’s fellow nations in the so-called BRIC group: China, Russia and Brazil.

It’s also well below the global average. According to a study last summer, 38 percent of mobile subscribers worldwide have a smartphone.

Among the BRIC  countries, smartphones are most popular in China, according to Nielsen. Some 66 percent of mobile subscribers in China have smartphones. That’s an even higher ratio than in the United States where, as of November, just 53 percent of mobile phone customers had a smartphone, according to a separate study from comScore.

Smartphones are a popular choice in Brazil and Russia, but don’t predominate. In Brazil, they have 36 percent market penetration, while in Russia, they have 47 percent.

Both of those countries also have strong numbers of users of multimedia phones. In Brazil, multimedia phone users comprise 21 percent of all mobile customers, while they comprise 11 percent in Russia.

Not so in India. In that country, feature phones predominate. Some 80 percent of all mobile phone customers in India have those basic phones.

(Photo courtesy of yisris/Fotopedia.)


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