A new survey by Neilsen has found that India’s smartphone users are addicted to their devices and prefer to play games rather than do voice calls and texting.
The study also notes that the youth are quick to adopt data connectivity on their smartphones, as more than half of all data users are younger than 25.
The survey highlights that smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in India and that out of India’s 900 million mobile users, 40 million now have smartphones. A previous survey by Neilsen had noted that compared to Brazil, China and Russia, India has the lowest number of smartphone users, only 10 percent of the mobile population. China has the highest number of smartphone users in a developing nation.
The study says that the dramatic growth is driven by a desire among users to stay connected and have instant access to social networking sites — a global trend that represents an exponential growth opportunity in developing countries.
Decreasing device and data costs, coupled with a wide range of features that today’s smartphones offer have also aided this growth notes the report.
Some key findings of the study:
• 93 percent of smartphone users own only one handset in India.
• Users in India overwhelmingly prefer Android, which has a 62 percent market share. Symbian usage is also high in India at 21 percent, followed by Windows (eight percent for Windows Phone and 5 percent for Windows Mobile) , BlackBerry has three percent and iOS has 1 percent market share.
• Only 3 percent of respondents said they owned a tablet, 11 percent said they intended to buy one soon.
• Consumers are also spending more time on their tablets than their Android smartphones — about an hour more, notes the study.
• Voice calls and texting accounted for only 25 percent of smartphone usage. Instead multimedia, games, apps and Internet browsing were more prominent.
• Among apps, consumers prefer games, particularly where paid apps are concerned. Games were the most popular category among paid apps, with nearly three out of five users or 58 percent paying for games.
• Chat and instant messaging apps were also popular in the paid apps category with 53 percent of those surveyed opting to buy them, followed by paid apps for streaming music (45 percent).
Interestingly the survey also noted that only half of the smartphone users polled have active data access.
Nielsen conducted this survey with Informate Mobile Insights, and polled more than 10,000 consumers in September and October 2012 across 46 cities in India.