Considering that high-speed Internet access, whether or not that’s broadband to the home or 4G to a smartphone, is mostly present in the Western World, it’s no surprise that many Western nations top the list of the world’s largest Internet users. Seemingly out of nowhere however, has come India, which has leapfrogged the United States to become the World’s second-largest Internet user in the world. The news comes from Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report, which she delivered during this year’s Code Conference. This news will no doubt be music to the ears of Google and smartphone manufacturers the world over, as India poses one of the biggest opportunities for tech companies today.
There are now 3 Billion people connected to the Internet all over the world, and China tops the list of the largest Internet users, but India has jumped the United States to become the second largest Internet user in the world with 227 Million connected users contributing to 2 percent of the World’s usage. India has often been referred to as “the next billion” by everyone interested in connecting them, including Google, as well as Nokia back in the days of Stephen Elop’s leadership. It’s unlikely however, that any one company will end up controlling India’s mobile space with huge dominance, but surprising brands like Xiaomi out of China have made inroads. Despite the fact that Samsung and homegrown Micromax battle it out constantly for the majority of the market, there’s plenty to go round. Making the top spot represents a 40% jump in the amount of connected users in India from the previous year’s report, while the rest of the World combined only managed to grow a measly 7 percent.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that India has managed to become so prolific in terms of Internet usage, but what is surprising is that they managed to get here quite as quickly as they have done. Considering that the majority of these users will be connecting to the Internet for the first time via a smartphone, these new figures represent even more opportunities for the likes of WhatsApp and other firms that have a strong mobile presence.