Recently, the rate of growth of internet connection has decreased in India, and the sale of smartphones has also decreased. This will affect digitization programs. There is a marked difference between men and women, rural and urban areas, when it comes to smartphones and internet connections. There are about 1 billion mobile phone users in the country, 1/3th of which they have normal phones.
Recent statistics indicate that these phones will not be upgraded anytime soon. With the exception of some users, all other users remain online using their phones, although the number of broadband connections is almost stable. According to the currently available figures, there were 79 million broadband connections in India in October 2022, slightly more than the 78 million 90 lakh connections in August 2021. The number of subscribers is even lower because many people have more than one connection.
According to market research firm IDC, after 10 years of continuous growth, smartphone sales reached their peak in 2021 with 16.10 million units sold. Last year, this number fell to 14 million 80 million units. Meanwhile, the price of an average smartphone has increased from Rs 13,000 to Rs 17,900 in 2022. Navakendra Singh of IDC said that even manufacturers don’t make a profit selling very cheap phones.
The market share of phones priced below Rs 8,000 has fallen from 30% in 2019 to just 12% in 2022. Before the pandemic, about 50 lakh people switched from using regular phones to smartphones every month. Correspondent analyst Shilpi Jain said last year that number had dropped to 30 lakh people. Cell phone costs have also increased. By June 2022, there was a 28% increase in subscriptions.
Because of the differences between mobile phone and Internet services, excellent initiatives to improve the government framework through digitization can have a negative impact. Apar Gupta of the Internet Freedom Foundation said the digitization program should be evaluated with the average Indian in mind.