One in three people is using smartphone in urban India
GN Bureau | May 9, 2015
In India, income does not explain the use of smartphones and mobile broadband. As smartphone prices in India have decreased, those from low income backgrounds have a greater opportunity to fulfil their aspirations – to own a smartphone and use the internet services offered.
While the percentage of smartphone mobile internet users from low income and less educated group was only 38% in 2013, the number has gone up to 45 % in 2015, a study by Ericsson Consumer Lab reveals.
Also, one is every three people in urban India is a smartphone user.
Those migrating from smaller villages and towns to large cities and metros for job opportunities, value the connectivity of smartphones for work. Equally as important to migrants is the ability to communicate with family back home, the report says.
It further says that despite having the largest young population and the young population being the target customers of smartphone companies and mobile data plans, it is the age group of 31 to 40 which has witnessed the largest increase in mobile broadband use.
Apart from just the shift in usage across ages, there is now a gender shift as well. In urban India, 34% of women now access mobile internet on their smartphones compared to 20% two years ago.
The report reveals that around 70% of smartphone users spend their mobile data plan in video streaming, 54% down music and videos, 35% users play online games, 61% users spend it on social networking while 54 % users make use of instant messaging apps and 45% check their emails. The number of people who use smartphone for paying bills, banking, e-commerce is quite less.
However, there also exists a digital literacy gap between ownership of smartphones and the ability to use all of the features offered. About 30 percent of smartphone users not using mobile broadband stated that they do not have the digital knowledge to use apps and services, and therefore do not perceive any value in subscribing to mobile broadband. A further 48 percent are unable to distinguish between 2G and 3G speeds and thus see no advantage in switching to a high speed service.
The survey was conducted on people in the age bracket of 15 to 75 years from 15,000 urban households in 33 cities.
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