India is the second country with 1 billion smartphone users; who was first to hit that mark?


The number of Indian smartphone users went over the one billion mark in October, rising .7% from September to hit 1.03 billion. That makes India the second country to top the billion user mark. The first country was not the U.S. In fact, India surpassed the U.S. in 2008 and has never looked back. The country that has the most smartphone users at present is China. The latter hit the billion users mark back in 2012.

What about the U.S.? Since India leaped over the U.S. in 2008, 100 million new smartphone users have been added to the stateside total. During that time, India has added more than 800 million users, more than twice the current population of the U.S.

With a dozen major carriers vying for business in India, rates plans are cheap. As a result, credit rating agency Fitch downgraded the entire Indian smartphone industry for 2016, saying that it only expects the largest five or six mobile operators in the country to survive. Fitch expects some smaller carriers in India to be acquired by the larger ones.

In 2011-2012, India came close to taking the top spot from China. Since then, the Chinese smartphone business has been red hot, up until this year that is. The Chinese smartphone market is suffering from saturation which might give India a chance to grab the number one spot in the next few years.

source: Bloomberg

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37 Comments

1. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

I'll be guessing it's China? Since they're the country which is the most populated in the world.

2. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Happy new year to all!!

14. Rocket

Posts: 641; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Happy new year to you too!

20. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

happy new year to all... जय हिन्द..(hail india).

24. engineer-1701d unregistered

the reason i hate stats like this a news like this is because its so fake and wrong india has a 1.3 billion population with 65% over the age of 65 and kids at whatever % and thats not even including the the villages so with about 400 million people in the age group and demo-graphical areas that have cell service and cell iphones how can they pass 1 billions unless they are talking of all times and all ios device activated including resets and broken replacements same goes for china and anywhere else on the planet dont care what phone they are talking about

29. ihearlivepplz

Posts: 80; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

Everyone from the age of 10 to over 65 have cell phones. And I don't know where you got your stats from but only 5% of people are over the age of 65 with another 20% being below 10. It would be hilarious if we actually had 65% of Children and old ppl. Anyway, Plans are so cheap here that even people who make $15 per month have mobile phones. Another reason why so many subscribers is that many people have dual sim or multiple phones. They might not be expensive phones but that is irrelevant. I myself have 4 sim connections.

30. srk_s_rao unregistered

If age is 65, is not allowed to use a phone? Almost every person has a mobile, Even villages.

32. avinash22i

Posts: 72; Member since: Nov 07, 2013

Your stats are so wrong mate. Close to 66% of India's population are within the age limit of 10 to 64. In fact it is one of the youngest countries with an average median age of 28. Also your numbers of iOS is even more so wrong, the number of Apple phones sold in India is close to a Million (Year 2015). However the total number of Smart phones sold in India for the same year is close 300 million which makes the share of Apple phones sold in the year close to 0.3 percent (It wouldn't even matter if you take out that matter in the big picture). Get your facts straight before you comment all high and mighty.

33. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

So....we can safely assume Trojans don't sell well in India.

28. Acer_Predator unregistered

why u all think usa bust be best in everything ?? it is worst in everything !

35. g2a5b0e unregistered

Why are you guessing? It states the answer right in the article.

3. maherk

Posts: 6770; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Lebanon?

4. fyahking

Posts: 1146; Member since: Jan 28, 2015

Not surprise, since they are the most populated asian countries.

5. darkkjedii

Posts: 30964; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Texas lol.

6. XperiaFanZone

Posts: 2277; Member since: Sep 21, 2012

Who'll be the third? Brazil? Russia? UK? Mexico? Japan? I'm guessing either one.

16. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

all those countries didnt even have 1 billion population.. but my guess will be US/Brazil, but it still long way to go

7. jsjammu

Posts: 169; Member since: Nov 13, 2014

My guess would be Brazil or Indonesia next just based on the population numbers.

25. engineer-1701d unregistered

brazil wont be on it rain forest space and lack of cell towers its only in major city's when i was there you leave the city within 5 min roads are brick 5 more its dirt and sugar Cain fields and stick houses on the side of the road with bicycle tire repairs

8. Piyath_ale

Posts: 79; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

Cheap smartphones are everywhere

34. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

I'm afraid you are correct.

9. Tziggy14

Posts: 624; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

I'm sure a good bulk of those are feature phones. There's still many pockets of the country without Internet.

10. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Low end smartphones may be not feature phones.

17. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

the title even say "smartphone".. even if they didnt mention the requirement for a phone to be called smartphone, its still obviously not feature phone

12. amanjain1

Posts: 56; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

Before bitching that most of the phones must be feature phones I can assure u that the number of Smart phones in India and China each are easily twice than USA. Wait for 2025 and Asians will rule the world. USAs global clout is going to end.

13. TerryTerius unregistered

For one, you're making the totally false assumption that one country's wealth will come at the detriment of the other's. Considering China's economy is heavily reliant on the US (and vice versa) that makes no sense whatsoever. Secondly, the numbers don't tell you some of the underlying issues China has. Such as their imminent demographic issues due to the one child policy that has resulted in a huge gender imbalance (which will inevitably lower the birth rate dramatically), and a rapidly aging populace/workforce... among other issues, if you really want to delve into it. Just like Japan, China has a few core issues they haven't solved that will potentially play havoc with their economy over the next few decades. I'm not at all saying it's impossible for China to overtake the US, it VERY much is something that could happen. But even if China did surpass the US economy, so what? Why would you assume that would spell doom for the United States? In no way would that diminish our economic power, military power, technological advancement, so on and so forth. Just means the world's power dynamics shift a bit.

19. amanjain1

Posts: 56; Member since: Apr 28, 2015

I am not saying that US is going to doom. But it's economical clout is shrinking with ruse of India and China. India is going to get its UNSC seat by 2025. And India is also a democracy. We are the the world's software (India) and hardware (china). We produce more engineers and doctors than the population of most of the countries. And India is slow but steadily rising in every field. We have ecommerce boom. Our economy is growing at a rate of 7.5% when most of the economies are shrinking.

23. TerryTerius unregistered

Yes and no. It heavily depends on what you mean, and what you are measuring. I'm pretty sure you know that as well as I do. Which is why I said numbers don't tell the whole story. At least not in the context of themselves. China and India have growing national GDP's largely because of their population size and sheer immensity of their respective work forces. But a better indicator of a nation's actual economic health is the GDP per capita, or the median household income.... Which shows just how enormous the gap is between Western Europe, Canada, the US, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, a few middle eastern countries and the rest of the world. That tells a starkly different story from the national GDP of any given country compared to another. http://www.gallup.com/poll/166211/worldwide-median-household-income-000.aspx Insofar as education goes, India and China have had a long standing issue with substantial numbers of their best and brightest permanently moving abroad to various other countries. http://m.theage.com.au/comment/brain-drain-a-headache-for-india-and-china-20131023-2w1kg.html https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital_flight Anyway, this is a fairly complex thing and we can go back and forth all night. Have a good night :-) If I came off as insulting or patronizing, that certainly wasn't my intent.

26. engineer-1701d unregistered

lol hahaha thats the funniest thing i have ever heard at least we have full functioning bathrooms and sewage reclamation

15. BobLawblaw unregistered

Ireland..

18. abc4015

Posts: 2; Member since: Dec 01, 2015

One more article frm phonearena is misleading bcz its either 1 billion phone connection to a network or total sales of 1 billion smartphones in India....according to me former one is true...

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