Democratization of data in India does not come about by just pursuing volume-led strategies and innovative / elemental pricing packs but also rests on the ability to localize content and offer multi-lingual support as operators reach out to subsequent data subscriber clusters. Smartphone sales are already slowing down in India with June-16 smartphone growth noticeably down to 15% Y/Y in Jun-16 qtr., lower from the 23% Y/Y growth in Mar-16 qtr. and sharply lower than 34% Y/Y growth, one year back in Jun-15 quarter, a full 20% points lower.
Unlike in China, India needs much more local lingual support and customization and this has dented smartphone growth as per
Counterpoint Technologies. This is a natural hurdle that operators should overcome together with the OEMs such as Micromax, Samsung, Oppo and Karbonn among others. Though accelerating smartphone penetration is necessary for continued data (3G/4G) explosion, it may not be a sufficient condition. At a company level, only Idea gives data on the 3G/4G smartphone population within its user base (Bharti does not).