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Manufacturing of Open OS-based handsets has created 5.5 lakh jobs in India: ICEA-KPMG report

India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA), in association with KPMG in India has released a detailed report on “Impact Assessment of Open OS Ecosystem for Devices in India”, capturing how the proliferation of Open OS in mobile devices has enabled the widespread demand, use and affordability of smartphones, which in turn has positively transformed the entire mobile ecosystem including comprising handset OEMs, ODMs, allied industry manufacturing units, mobile application developers and consumers.

With more than 330 million Indians accessing the internet and a host of online services on their handheld devices, it is also contributing to the government’s initiatives like Digital India, Startup India and Make-in-India.

Some of the key insights from the report include:

  • India overtook USA to become the second largest mobile phone market in the world in terms of number of units, with the Indian smartphone market growing at a CAGR of 37% in value to reach INR 1,43,000 crores in 2017
  • The number of manufacturing facilities for handsets and allied industries have increased from 3 in in 2014 to 268 in 2018
  • Open OS mobile operating system has expanded the market size of smartphones in India by reducing barriers to entry. The number of smartphones sold increased from 2 million units in 2009-10 to 117 million units in 2017-18, corresponding with the increase in smartphone OEMs from 7 in 2009 to ~80 in 2018
  • An estimated 72% of mobile application developers in India are using open OS as the base of their development, and they are also getting access to user base of 152 countries via 300 app stores
  • Indian consumer is getting more choices with more smartphone models available across price ranges with the retail price of entry level smartphone has fallen from INR 12,000 in 2009 to INR 1,400 in 2018. The Average Selling Price (ASP) of smartphones has reduced by 16% to reach INR 11,800 during the same period
  • Manufacturing of Open OS based handsets is estimated to have created ~5.5 lakhs of direct & indirect jobs in India from 2014-2018 Evolution and successful deployment of Open OS eco-systems are considered to be crucial factors leading up to staggering successes witnessed in the mobile handset industry eco-system in India during the past one decade. Open OS ecosystems have also played a key role towards realisation of the vision related to removal of Digital divide amongst haves and have nots and its successful enablement has also led towards easy access of technology amongst citizens from various stratas of societies through enhanced handset penetrations through reduced cost of handsets.

While releasing the report R S Sharma, Chairman – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), said, “The easy accessibility and affordability of smartphones has shrunk the digital divide between urban and rural India. The open OS ecosystem has further helped in the establishment of many small, medium and large enterprises. I would, however, wish that India has its own OS developed for our needs.”

Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary – Department of Telecom (DoT), further said, “The current manufacturing growth in the mobile phone sector has the potential to produce better results in export promotion, employment generation and a host of social-economic advantages. Thus, the growing penetration of smartphones has helped the open OS ecosystem to boost the economy by enabling the creation of new industries.”

Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA said, “Post the smartphone revolution, brands created a holistic ecosystem in the country for many unicorn companies in the past one decade. Many apps/services are being accessed primarily on smartphones now. Prevalence of the Open OS has also facilitated smartphones supporting multilingual capabilities and also led to the enhancement of the Skill India program by the government. The societal impact of this robust ecosystem has led to a growing number of entrepreneurs and start-ups in India.”

“Despite mobile handsets were considered to be a luxury product only a decade and a half back leading to its lesser penetration and this technology remaining out of bounds amongst the marginalized segments of society, today, this turnaround success achieved in this sector benefiting the masses has been made possible through deployment of Open OS eco-systems as one of the major success factors well recognized. Today, mobile handsets which are technologically superior and contemporary and found amongst the masses are synonymous with affordable pricing. This undoubtedly plays a crucial role towards removal of Digital divide and fulfilment of objectives as found under the flagship “Digital India” program,” Mohindroo added.

Jaideep Ghosh, Partner and Head-Technology, Media and Telecommunications, Management Consulting, KPMG in India commented saying that the contribution of Open Source operating system is critical in making smartphones affordable and thus easily accessible.

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