Number Three Internet Nation
According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India had about 112 million Internet users in September, and they projected 123 million by the end of this year. This is up from 88 million in 2010, meaning that India has now passed Japan to become the number 3 country in terms of Internet population. They’re still behind America (#2) and China (#1). What’s striking is that India’s Internet penetration is still barely 10%, compared with about 80% in the US and 35% in China. William Gibson said that the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed. Nowhere is that more true than in India.
Number One Facebook Soon
“India is our third largest market in terms of number of users and what we’re excited about and why we’re here is because some time in the future, we think that India will pass first Indonesia, which should happen soon, and then US,” Facebook’s vice president for mobile partnerships and corporate development Vaughan Smith said. (Economic Times)
India currently has about 34 million Facebook users, up 84% from last year, according to Facebook. Since Facebook can’t operate in China, that makes India its defacto growth market. So, Facebook should be dominated by India soon.
The IAMAI claims that only 8% of Internet use is on mobile, which contradicts some of their earlier studies and other reports, unless I’m reading it wrong. Google India estimates that there are around 50 million mobile Internet users in India. About 20 million smartphones were sold this year, growing at 56% year on year. They’re expecting to see sales of over 100 million by 2015.
Google also estimates that India will have 300 million Internet users by 2014, nearing the entire population of the United States. They won’t catch China for a while, but they should be number two soon.
Why The Electrification Map?
Mainly because it’s pretty, loosely because electrification is the foundation for Internet and computing. This map went viral as an image of India during Diwali, but it’s not. It actually shows the progressive illumination of India as seen from space, the white being pre-1992 lights, and blue being 1992, the green 1998 and the red 2003. It’s from NASA. I’ve also traced the routes of the undersea cables that carry Internet from submarinecablemap.com.
Does this help you understand the Indian Internet better? Not really. I recommend reading the below reports from The Next Web. Beyond that the usual storyline (India growing) will fit.