Smartphone Makers Look Overseas To Expand Base

As the U.S. smartphone market reaches its saturation point, many phone manufacturers are looking overseas to make up for declining growth. India has surpassed the U.S. as the second-largest smartphone market. (China is first.)

India’s smartphone user base grew to 220 million users in 2015, per Counterpoint Research, surpassing the U.S.’s 200 million users as reported recently by ComScore.

Apple still dominates in the American market, with 42.9% of the OEM market. But in India, the high-end smartphone company shipped 2 million units in the calendar year—a relatively small number, though its high prices mean it commands the third-largest revenue share in the country.

Samsung phones hold 28.4% market share in the U.S., and shipped 23.6% of handsets in India in Q4 last year.

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Over half of the smartphones sold in India were also made in country. Currently, India has about 1 billion mobile subscribers, but only about a fifth of those use smartphones. India’s population still prefers low-end smartphones instead of premium ones. However, that preference may change as the market for luxury goods in that country is projected to grow to 86% between 2013 and 2018.

About 63% of smartphone users in India are under the age of 25, while in the US, millennials dominate smartphone ownership rates, closing in on total saturation.

Android owners constitute 53.3% of the U.S. smartphone market. while Apple users make up 42.9%, though January numbers will probably show how the holiday affected the company’s growth.

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