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A majority of Indians are on 2G networks, but 4G smartphones are on the rise

Consumers today are looking at increasing data speeds. The telecommunications industry has progressed from 2G, to 3G and now awaiting 4G to be adapted by the masses. Although, the debate may not be restricted to connectivity or the speed, India is definitely buying a lot of 4G-enabled smartphones this year. Although the rollout of services by operators may have been delayed, and eventually leading to what appears to be a decreased adoption of 4G services, the IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker points out that smartphone buyers aren’t hindered.
The same IDC Q3 report points out that 1 in every 3 smartphone buyers is purchasing a 4G smartphone and e-tailers such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are fuelling the sales of these 4G devices.

To get a clearer picture, lets delve into details of IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report. Samsung continues to emerge as the leader with 24 percent market share, followed by Micromax at 16.7 percent. Intex and Lenovo have also managed to up their market share by 3.1 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively in Q2 2015. In fact, Lenovo could also emerge as Micromax’s next competitor if the trends continue.

Lenovo and Micromax have been doling out cheaper 4G smartphones by the dozens. Over the last three months, Micromax launched its Canvas Pace 4G, Canvas Xpress 4G, Canvas Blaze 4G, Fire 4G and the Play 4G! Clearly, smartphone buyers are spoilt for choice with 4G options being sold at a starting price under Rs 5000.

According to a recent study by Nokia Networks, even 3G adoption is slow. The study reveals that with 144 million users out of 225 million, 3G smartphone owners have, in reality, subscribed to a 3G connection. The key here is future proofing. Buyers seem to be future proofing their purchases by buying a smartphone that is 4G ready despite having no plans to pick up a 3G subscription. Let alone a 4G one!

Even 5G-ready smartphones would elicit a similar curiosity. According to the IDC forecast, smartphones sales will over take those of feature phones in 2016, which is a significant shift. But then again, it appears that most consumers are purchasing a 4G smartphone that would eventually run on a 2G network. Although this is great for smartphone manufacturers, consumer are yet to benefit from high speed devices whose potential remains untapped, at best.
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