China and India are the world’s biggest mobile markets with 1.05 billion and 934 million subscribers respectively. At the end of 2011, the smartphones installed base in both these markets was less than 100 million (over 90 million in China and 24 million in India).

However, while China added close to 75 million smartphones in the first half this year, India could manage only a fraction of that number. While China (surpassing US in Q1, 2012) is currently the world’s biggest smartphone market, India is yet gain momentum in the smartphones space.

Here’s a comparison of the smartphone ecosystem in both the markets:


Source: Convergence Catalyst Research & Estimates, Industry Reports

As much as we were tempted to analyze key market dynamics, initiatives by different value chain players, demand & supply side adoption drivers, key challenges, regulatory environment, various consumer segments aspiration levels and usage patterns, etc… we wanted data and numbers to highlight the differences and present the market landscape in this post.

We’ve been closely following both the markets for a long time, and the seeds for the current rapid growth in Chinese smartphone market were sown (by various value chain players) over the last few years. We’ll try and analyze them in our subsequent posts.

Update: The total number of smartphones in China at the end of 2011 were over 90 million and not 55 to 58 mn (as we mentioned earlier… that is the total no. of smartphones sold in 2011)… we’ve updated the post with the correct data point

Yagna Teja contributed to this research note.

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