Comparing Indian and African mobile phone market

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Mobile Phone Market
Picture-Credits: Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is no doubt that the mobile phone market in India and Africa is growing at an incredible rate. People on both continents are quickly turning to mobile devices for Internet and media needs. In the next 5 years or so the African market is predicted to at least quadruple from $60 billion in to $234 billion. India’s market is no different; it grew by 12% in 2013 alone and is set to keep this pace. One of the main reasons is that people are buying used smartphones using classified sites and taking advantage of cheap locally manufactured models as well. It will be interesting to see which brands and what type of mobile devices will dominate these two growing markets.

Africa has overtaken Europe and South America to become the second largest market in the world for mobile devices, the first being Asia. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that the continent does not have the infrastructure for landlines. Also, with many inhabitants living below the poverty line, mobile devices are often shared amongst families and users cleverly use multiple SIM cards for different service providers. Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular as it is the easiest way for Africans to stay connected to the Internet. They tend to use cheaper smart phones such as the Android Gingerbread which only goes for $50 without a contract. Also, people often use classified sites, for example this one in Nigeria, to buy their phones for even less. However, since the Android operating system is set to be discontinued on new phones, it will be interesting to see if manufacturers can build a cheap enough model to sweep this increasingly profitable market.

In India the sale of smartphones has grown 229% in the last year alone. The verdict is definitely out on what is the most popular mobile device for this area. Another interesting trend is the growth of smartphones with screen sizes of over 5 inches, or phablets. These have taken over 23% of the smartphone market in the later parts of 2013, making it a huge opportunity for companies to sell this type of model to the Indian population. Samsung has dominated the market in India, accounting for over 30% of all shares. Interestingly though, a local smartphone manufacturer has beat out Nokia to the second spot, Micromax. India is saying goodbye to mobile phones and clearly turning to smartphones. This trend is also driving the local market with homegrown smartphones being manufactured and sold for affordable prices.

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