The smartphone market in India has been growing at an exponential rate over the last few years. Boosted by the availability of low cost smartphones by local manufacturers and Chinese companies, the Indian smartphone market has been witness unprecedented growth. Between 2013 and 2014, the market has grown by a staggering 260%, making it the fastest growing smartphones market in the world. Accompanying this growth, the mobile apps market is also growing steadily. According to Yahoo, the global app usage has been outpaced by app usage in India, which has grown by 131%.
Research on the portable device market in India has shown that this huge spurt in growth is mostly due to the rise of online shopping in general, and m-commerce in particular. Ecommerce has been replaced by m-commerce with all the major online retailers coming out with apps available on all the leading platforms. Myntra, is now solely operating through its mobile app, while Flipkart no longer supports browsing its website through mobile phones, and prompts consumers to use the app instead. The other two major ecommerce sites – Amazon and Snapdeal – also have mobile apps. To attract consumers to shop through the apps, the retailers are offering additional discounts and offers on purchases made through the app.
Another major reason behind the growth of the mobile apps market in India is the predominance of large screened devices. Research on the Indian smartphones market revealed that phablet market in India is growing at a faster pace than in the USA. Larger screens make it easier for people to use the apps. In fact, smartphone users in India spend 19% of their device using time on the apps, a number that comes second only to gaming at 25%. Personalization, News and Photography are occupy the top three spots in app usage.
Taking advantage of the huge mobile apps market in India, companies are investing increasingly in mobile ads. Between 2013 and 2014, the volume of mobile ad grew by 260%. Simple banner ads are the most commonly used ones; although there has been an increase in using sophisticated and richer ads. Around 27% of the total revenue is generated by the media rich ads, even though they account for less than 4% of the total impressions. Increased investment in mobile ads has also solved one of the biggest problems of the Indian app market, that of developers earning money from their apps.
Huge potential, high growth rate and increased investment - the Indian app market seems to have hit a purple patch. The onus is now on the app developers to make the best of this and ensure that the journey on the upward trajectory continues for the foreseeable future.