India is forecast to overtake the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market in 2017, with annual shipments jumping from 118 million this year to 174 million units.

Strategy Analytics predicts that global shipments of smartphones will increase from 1.5 billion units this year to 1.7 billion in 2017. China, US and India are the top three markets.

India’s growth is being driven by low smartphone penetration, the expanding availability of low-cost devices, a wealthier middle class and aggressive promotions by local smartphone brands like Micromax, said Linda Sui, director at Strategy Analytics.

The research firm expects China’s smartphone market to grow from 458 million units this year to 505 million in 2017. “China has been the engine of global smartphone growth in recent years, but the market is now maturing and slowing. India is fast becoming the next major growth wave,” Sui said.

The US smartphone market will rise marginally from 164 million units this year to 169 million in two years, falling to number 3 globally.

Global growth is expected to slow sharply over the next two years, falling from 16 per cent this year to 5 per cent in 2017. China will see growth drop from 13 per cent in 2015 to 3 per cent in 2017. Even in fast-growing India, growth will decline from 43 per cent this year to 26 per cent next year, and then to 17 per cent in 2017, according to Strategy Analytics.