On stage at the Code Conference, former Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker took center stage to once again provide us insight into global economics and how it affects us. She is a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) and has been preparing the Internet Trends reports for years. This is the twenty-second one and India gets a special feature in the report, thanks to the tremendous growth induced in the country.
Let’s just dive into the Internet Trends Report and take a quick peek at the highlights for the Indian sub-continent. We’ve been progressing at a phenomenal pace and that’s pretty evident from the GDP growth – that’s the largest among all nations. The govt’s demonetization may have deterred our stride a little but the country’s GDP grew by 6.8 percent the previous year – it is too close to China’s 6.7 percent GDP growth.
Though the international Internet user growth flat-lined at around 10 percent, the number of Internet user in India grew by a huge 28 percent to around 255 million users until mid-2016 (June). The year-on-year growth in the number of user stands at 40 percent, while the Internet penetration is also growing in double digits — 27 percent. India is only behind China in the total Internet users in the country.
This has been made possible because of the gruesome and bloody battle ongoing between mobile carriers. Ever since the launch of Reliance Jio in the country, other telecom brands like Airtel, Vodafone and others first decided to revolt but then decided to join the rebellion against the true 4G LTE service provider. The decrease in the data costs has caused a massive 9x jump to be induced in the data consumption numbers in the country. The report reads as under:
Wireless incumbents begin to cut data rates in anticipation of Reliance Jio launch in 9/16. Data costs per GB decline from $3.50 to ~$3.15 (-10%) Q/Q. Voice costs decline 4% Q/Q
Last year also witnessed a similar trend where the business of Chinese smartphone vendors flourished whereas Indian and global brands were plagued with another declining quarter. The number of smartphones shipped to India increased by 15 percent Y-o-Y and average cost of the handset neared $150, making it affordable for many in the country. This shift was not only led by Chinese hardware maker but also by Jio’s LYF brand.
Since India is one of the fastest growing and developing economies across the globe, thus, we’ve already seen that the shipment of smartphones in the nation increased greatly. Most of these devices will be powered by Android (thanks to Chinese phone makers) instead of iOS, which is a premium/luxury in the country and only a mere 2 percent people own them.
Thus, the amount of time spent by the Indian populace on Android phones is the highest and we’re now nearing 150 billion hours between the years 2014-2016. We are followed closely by Brazil, a country which is also witnessing an advent of technology. India has topped the list, but very narrowly, of total app downloads from the Google Play Store. It has surpassed U.S and now can be seen as the biggest consumer of app content (excluding China).