Emerging as a big force in the global smartphones market during 2015, India saw about 75 million devices being shipped in the first three quarters of the year. The pace of the blistering growth was further strengthened by the online channel as many handset makers added eCommerce only devices. The strong pace is expected to help India replace the the US as the second largest market globally, after China.

The 4G expansion: About 40 per cent of smartphones being shipped are already on 4G and more than 9 crore 4G subscribers and 18 crore 4G smartphones can be there by 2018, he added. A major driver of this growth has been online sales.

An outburst of Chinese brands: The online platforms gave a lot of Chinese brands an easy launchpad for India without much investment in the distribution and service channels.

The rise of smartphones: The year ahead would continue to see 'intense action', especially in the entry-level smartphone market, as companies look to upgrade feature phone users. With 60 percent of the user base still on feature phones, the expectation is that close to 70-80 million feature phone consumers will switch to affordable smartphones.

Expectations from 2016: Year 2016 is also expected to see introduction of new brands like LeTV, a trend seen this year. A trend that could become the mainstay in the year ahead could be services-laden smartphones.

Growth of App ecosystem: The app ecosystem grew fast this year with users graduating from just using gaming apps to services-oriented apps like Ola and Uber to book cabs, foodpanda to order food to using mobile wallets like Paytm and Mobikwik. The key to this growth will be simplification through relevant services and availability of these in various Indian languages, he added.

Impact of Make in India initiative:
The year also saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' initiative gathering steam with a slew of handset makers including the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola, Gionee and OnePlus investing in local manufacturing.

In December last year, the government had set up a joint task force, which included industry representatives from Samsung, Microsoft and Lava, to rejuvenate nation's mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem with a view to achieve production of 500 million units of mobile handsets by 2019. The target also includes 15 lakh plus jobs and a component industry of 50,000 crore by 2019-2020.

Manufacturing handsets in India: Players like Lava and Micromax are looking at bringing the entire manufacturing ecosystem to India. Estimates suggest that close to 30 percent of the handsets being sold monthly are now being manufactured or assembled locally.

New trends that hit the market:
Newer trends like more powerful wearables and newer devices based on Internet of Things could hit the market.