Mary Meeker’s legendary annual Internet Trends report is here. For her 2015 report, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers executive has focused separately on India and China as the two leading Internet markets. Meeker fancies India for its unique mobile Internet dominated ecosystem and highlights three key areas – smartphones, global apps, and mobile e-commerce and payments. We highlight eight key slides for India from Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 report.
According to Meeker, India is at the inflection point of Internet penetration growth. From here, key services would emerge that will push more users to come online to access them. For China, that point came somewhere around 2008 with Tencent, Alibaba and JD.com acting as catalysts. For US, it was Netscape, Yahoo, eBay and Amazon. Notice how e-commerce companies played a catalyst role in both the markets. Could it be the likes of Flipkart, Paytm, WhatsApp and Facebook in India?
With 233 million Internet users, India is the third largest Internet market after China and USA. However, it is the world’s fastest growing Internet market, adding about 63 million new Internet users in 2014. With the advent of cheaper mobile Internet, affordable smartphones and upcoming 4G LTE networks, we believe it is only going to accelerate faster than the 37 percent year-on-year growth in 2014.
Unlike China, where local services dominate, India is a big market for global (read American) Internet companies. India is the largest market for WhatsApp, the second largest for Facebook and Linkedin and the fastest growing for Twitter. India accounts for 7 percent of YouTube’s overall users (70 million users in India) while Amazon had announced investing an additional $2 billion in India to take on its local e-commerce rival Flipkart. However, we believe that local services or localization of global services would be the key for the next wave of Internet users.
The top 10 Android apps by usage has three messaging apps – WhatsApp, (Facebook) Messenger and Hike, utility apps like MX Player and Truecaller, a couple of games and a cricket app. As expected, none of the data intensive apps like streaming services make it to the top ten. What’s surprising is none of the news apps made it to the list either, suggesting Indian users currently use their smartphones for communication and offline entertainment.
India is a mobile Internet country and 65 percent of total Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Hardly surprising, considering India had only 15.52 million wired broadband Internet connections out of 99.20 million broadband Internet users at the end of March 2015. Only Nigeria has a higher mobile Internet traffic percentage but in absolute numbers India beats every country in the world.
Another interesting Internet trend from India is that 41 percent of e-commerce sales happen on mobile, and that number is only going to increase. Flipkart, India’s largest online retailer, is planning to shut its website and go with a mobile-only model.
Another slide that shows how Indian consumers are more mobilized when it comes to online shopping. Can’t be blamed when only 15 percent of Internet connections are wired broadband. India added just 70,000 wired broadband subscribers in March 2015 while 1.76 million wireless Internet subscribers (including USB dongles) were added during the same period.
Here’s the complete Internet Trends 2015 by Mary Meeker report: