India holds the key to future growth in the smartphone market as the maturation of the Chinese market has seen an ease in demand, said International Data Corporation (IDC).
With smartphones already accounting for over 80 percent of China's overall phone sales, the explosive growth has come to a halt. Smartphone shipments to the mainland fell 4.3 percent on-quarter in the October to December period to 90.8 million, the first drop-off since the second quarter of 2011, according to IDC.
In India, by contrast, feature phones - lower-end mobile devices with less advanced computing ability and connectivity than smartphones - continue to make up a large portion of overall mobile handset sales.
(Read more: China's stellar smartphone market dips)
The country represented more than a quarter of the global feature phone market in 2013. Over 200 million feature phones below $100 were shipped to the country last year compared with around 70 million shipped to China, highlighting the vast potential to covert feature phone users to smartphone users.