Rarely do we come across a market that’s growing 89 percent year-on-year. But smartphone growth in urban India has taken off and it looks like the sky is the limit. A whopping 51 million people in urban India were using smartphones in 2013—outpacing our initial estimate of 45 million—up from 27 million in 2012.
But the aggregate user numbers only tell part of the story. Within one year, the share of smartphones in the mobile market of urban India basically doubled—jumping from 9 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2013. In the metro areas, more than one in five (23%) people now carry a smartphone.
In addition to the overall rise in penetration of smartphones in 2013, we also gained some new insights about how different age groups and genders are using smartphones. Penetration among males last year was 20 percent, which is nearly twice the 11 percent penetration among females. Interestingly, the under 18 and 36-40 year age groups showed the least difference in smartphone penetration between gender.