Smartphones Usage in India
Sukesh Chandra Gain
F-153, FMS, Delhi
1. Analyse Literature pattern for smart phones usage in India (review certain literatures)
2. Market and Growth drivers for Smart phones in India.
3. Draw out insights with a questionnaire (current smart phone n android users). The
current features they use and the features they would want to use.
4. Current Recall and Positioning for Huawei. How can that be combated when it
launches a smart phone
Smartphone Usage in India: Literature Review:
Indian mobile handset market is expected to grow at 25% by volume in 2011. Of
which, smartphones will be one of the hottest growth category comprising 6% of
the shipments. 2.5 million smartphones were shipped to India in 2009 and 6
million smartphones were shipped in 2010. Estimates put a possible 12 million
smartphone shipments in 2011. That’s a 100% growth over the year 2010.
With more than 20 million smartphones available in India, it is imperative for
various groups to understand the behavior of India’s smartphone users. Nielsen
has collaborated with Informate Mobile Intelligence to understand the behavior of
India’s smartphone users.
Nielsen’s survey shows some emerging trends and demographics. The study is
currently limited to two age groups. The age groups covered in the survey are 15
25 year olds and over 31 year olds. Whether the survey has forgotten then 2631
year age group or the publishers ignored that group is an open question. Also the
survey doesn’t provide a gender differentiation.
Indian smartphone users spend more time on the Internet than on
traditional voice calls and SMS’s
Smartphone usage by Indian users:
On an average Indian smartphone users spend 2 hours and 30 minutes with
smartphones and 72% of that time goes into gaming, entertainment, and
Internet. Traditional voice calls and text messaging take a mere 28% of the time.
Smartphone Usage pattern of 1524 year old:
The younger Indians prefer to spend most of their time browsing the internet on
their smartphones with little time spent for SMS. Casual browsing of the phone
like searching for contacts and setting alarms take 30 mins of the time for 1524
Smartphone Usage pattern of 31 + years old:
31+ year old Indians with smartphone have slightly different preferences. They
spend less time browsing and texting when compared to 1524 year olds, 31+
year olds spend more time on contact search and alarms.
The numbers provided by Nielsen and Informate doesn’t look like they are the
result of a survey. The source refers to ondevice metering technology used by
Informate. Here’s what Informate has to say onmetering technology.
Informate Mobile Intelligence: Unlike traditional research, which relies on a
consumer’s stated response to a given set of questions, Informate offers detailed
access to actual mobile usage.
Through its proprietary ondevice metering technology Smart Meter, Informate
captures real time and complete data onactual mobile phone usage. In addition,
Informate Quest, our syndicated survey captures attitudinal data such as brand
awareness, purchase intention, brand satisfaction and preference scores. So while
the SmartMeter tracks What are the phone features used and When, the Informate
Quest delves into Who the consumers are and the Why of their mobile phone
The study further finds that data usage of 3G users is 44% more than that of 2G
users. Despite Symbian’s popularity in India, a Symbian user installs only 10
apps while an Android user installs 19 apps in a month.
Interestingly, of all the Indian youth who have mobile phones, only 10 percent
have smartphones and 90 percent of them still have feature phones. Density
of smartphones amongst youth is highest in Italy where 47 percent of them carry
smartphones. The report also reveals that most young people with mobile phones
choose their own devices and only 16 percent youth go by their parent’s choice of
Smartphone Penetration – Male Vs Female
Among the youth, who have smartphones, only 20 percent comprise of females,
again which is one of the lowest in the world. Even our neighbouring country
China, has about 40 percent female smartphone users. While in the U.S, female
Smartphone users (55 percent) out number their male counterparts (45 percent).
Price – Most important mobile purchase Driver:
India is a price conscious country – Infact, about 4 out of 10 Indian youths have
sighted that as the primary purchase driver, which is more than any other
country. Incidentally, in China, Form and shape of the phone takes precedence
when choosing a smartphone.
Smartphone Market Demand
90 percent of all user want to move to Smartphones, given the kind of features
it offers, but smartphones is a much newer phenomenon in India as compared to
rest of the world and hence such low penetrations. The sales of smartphones
actually saw tremendous growth only in last few months, specifically due to fall in
prices of phones. Till start of this year most of the smartphones cost above 15k
which was out of budget of most of Indians, especially younger people.
But the scenario has changes drastically, thanks to local Indian brands like
Micromax, Zen, Maxx and others, who have bought smartphones in every ones
reach. Today one can buy a decent smartphone for as low as 3000 rupees.
Smartphone Market Potential in India
But, still the market potential remains huge – 80 percent of Smartphone market is
still there for the taking (Imagine the numbers we are talking here). There will be
two main factors that will decide how soon the Smartphones proliferate. The price
of the handset and cost of Data usage.
Apart from handset prices, Telecom Operators have to ensure that cost of data
transfer (especially 3G going forward) has to be affordable, otherwise
smartphones will always be looked as glorified bulkier feature phones!
Enterprise Smartphone Usage Trends:
Enterprise Mobility space is getting really interesting with the sudden explosion
in the smartphone and tablet choices in the market. We have some interesting
trends on enterprise smartphone usage.
Smartphone Usage Trends In Enterprise:
• As many as 66% of the surveyed organizations supply employees with
• 18% of the organizations have 75100% employees using smartphone
whereas around 22% of organizations have less than 5% employees using
• Organizations are a little skeptical of supporting personal smartphones.
Majority (54%) of the organizations do not support noncompany
• Work email is the primary task for which smartphones are used in
enterprises. 91% of the surveyed used their smartphone for checking work
emails while a good 46% use smartphones to connect to company wireless
Blackberry Continues To Be The Most Preferred Smartphone:
Blackberry with its encrypted security features does justify the preference for it,
but assuming that this trend will change in favor of iPhone and Android phones as
employees start using smartphones for more complex tasks.
However, it is really interesting to see Android Based phone usage percentage
what with the general enterprise scepticism about open source.
Heartening Usage Trends, But Are Enterprises Beefing Up Security
One would think that of all things enterprises are concerned about security
proofing all IT infrastructure in the organization. Be it intranet, internet or VPN
networks, enterprises ensure that all incoming/outgoing channels are aptly
However, it does not seem to be the case as far as securing smartphones go.
A meager 31% of the organization require a security software on smartphone
used by employees
That is a significantly low percentage especially when compared with the
increasing smartphone usage in the enterprise. As employees increasingly use
their smartphone for more and more tasks, it is even more critical that the right
security is put in place.
One possible logic that could explain the low security requirements for
smartphones could be due to the fact that not a lot of security threats would have
taken place. However, the report highlights that organizations have already
witnessed a wide variety of security attacks from unsecured smartphone usage.
With as many as 85% of the surveyed organizations allowing employees to
connect to public WiFi networks, the possibility of security threats is bound to
be there. It is surprising to see the significantly low levels of security concerns for
What is even more surprising than organizations not providing security softwares
is that very few even consider providing security awareness training for employees
A lot of unwarranted attacks could be thwarted if employees are made aware of
the kind of threats they can be exposed to be while using smartphone and the
various channels they can spread from.
Personal and Enterprise usage of smartphones and tablets is only going to
increase over next few years. Organizations globally will have to beef up
security measures specifically for these new enterprise mobility devices to
ensure that productivity does not come at the cost of security.
Traffic by Smartphone Platform
No surprises here – iPhone is a big winner – iPhone platform accounted for 50%
of all the requests that came to Admob network. However, Android has surged
ahead and taken the 2nd position accounting 24% of all the mobile internet
traffic, while Nokia’s Symbian OS came in 3rd with 18% share.
India Handset & Operating System Share:
Nokia has been king in India since mobile revolution came about in India and it
still holds it positions when it comes to top 10 mobile handsets used in India.
However, with advent of smartphones, Nokia has started to slowly loose it Mobile
handset Market Share. While, Samsung seems to be doing quite well and has seen
surge in its Market Share.
Nokia, being so popular in India, its native OS – Symbian is also faring very well –
Infact, more than 90% of all the mobile requests to Admob Network are from
Symbian OS. iPhone accounts for around 5% market share while remaining 4%
account for all the rest of Mobile Oses.
4G in India as early as next year:
The consumers who have subscribed to 3G services have been far from happy.
Either the speed have been slow or the connectivity has been intermittent or both.
3G has just not taken off as it was expected to.
However, from consumer point of view there are couple of things that need to be
looked at – Jury is still out on what exactly are 4G services. The technology often
referred to as "4G" are simply an advanced form of 3G, called 3.9G by the ITU. It
is not really 4G per say. The real 4G speeds are expected to be in the region of
upto 100 mbps.
Another important aspect from consumers point of view is Handset compatibility.
Most consumers are just switching to 3G handsets, which are rather expensive
compared to normal 2G handsets. If 4G services get launched in next 12 to 18
months as expected, very few consumers will actually move. The cost of 4G
handset are also expected to be significantly higher.
We are atleast 34 years away from actually getting hands on with 4G. It will
easily take Telecom Providers about 6 months to year for streamlining their
existing 3G offerings itself. Only after that will consumers start adopting it in big
According to Nielsen:
• 72 percent of their time [is] spent on activities such as gaming,
entertainment, apps and internet related content. Only 28 percent of their
time is now used for voice calls and text messaging.
The shift is even more noticeable in younger users. Here are the five other key
findings in addition to the one just mentioned:
• Younger smartphone users (15 to 25year olds) spend more than three
hours per day on their phones, and spend 60 percent of that time on
entertainment and browsing
• 68 percent of 15 to 24year olds used a chat app within the last month, as
compared to 42 percent for the 31+ folks.
• Data usage for 3G users was close to 44 percent more than 2G users
• An Android user installs an average of 19 apps in a month compared to ten
apps for a Symbian user
• 84 percent of Android users played a game in the last month compared to
59 percent for Symbian users
So, basically, even older users now spend about threetimes longer fingerswiping
then jibberjabbing, which is good news for smartphone makers that are popular
in the country, such as Nokia and BlackBerry.
But lets not forget that hundreds of millions of Indian phone users have humbler
devices, and neither a 2G nor 3G connection. Which is why Indian startups and
major telcos alike are still pushing forward some neat messageoriented services,
such as SMSGyan, the SMSbased search engine, as well as SMS GupShup, India’s
Twitterlike messaging service.
Android is forecasted to become the number one smartphone operating
system in 2011.
Gartner (April 2011) estimates that 468 million will be sold in 2011, that’s a 57.7
percent increase from 2010. Of those phones, 38.5 percent will be powered by the
Android operating system. By 2015, 631 million smartphones will be sold,
approaching half of those will be Android.
IDC (March 2011) estimates that 450 million will be sold in 2011, that’s a 49.2
percent increase from 2010. Of those phones, 39.5 percent will be powered by the
Android operating system.
Both Gartner and IDC expect to see Symbian nose dive following Nokia’s decision
to dump its smartphone operating system in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
Windows phone shows strong growth, but considerably less market share than
Symbian enjoyed to 2010.
More analysis and implications of these stats:
Worldwide smartphone operating system (OS) market
share in 20092015, according to Gartner
Smartphone OS market
share and compound
annual growth rate 2011
2015, according to IDC
Android 3.9% 22.7% 38.5% 48.8% 23.8%
BlackBerry 19.9% 16.0% 13.4% 11.1% 17.1%
iOS 14.4% 15.7% 19.4% 17.2% 18.8%
Symbian 46.9% 37.6% 19.2% 0.1% 65.0%
8.7% 4.2% 5.6% 19.5% 67.1%
Others 6.1% 3.8% 3.9% 3.3% 28.0%
631 million 19.6%
Source: Gartner (April 2011) via: mobiThinking
Growth Drivers & Trends:
• Asia will be the key market for MFS, driven by initiatives to bank the
unbanked and money transfers
• Mobile financial services (MFS) (mbanking, mwallets,
remittance/transfers etc) are growing fast
• Mcoupons will dominate mobile retail marketing spend until 2013,
according to Juniper Research
• 1 in 8 mobile subscribers will use mticketing in 2015 for airline, rail and
bus travel, festivals, cinemas and sports events.
• Worldwide mobile payments (mpayments) are growing strongly, but will
still only be worth a fraction of ecommerce payments
• The most used apps across all smartphones – note that’s used as opposed to
downloaded – according to Nielsen, are Facebook, Google Maps and The
Weather Channel (TWC). The most popular categories are games; news;
maps; social networking and music
• The average price of a mobile app is falling rapidly on all vendor app
stores, except Android.
• Demand for app stores is expected to peak in 2013
• Mobile searches have quadrupled in the last year, according to Google, for
many items one in seven searches are now mobile
• In 2011 over 85 percent of new handsets will be able to access the mobile
Web. Today in US and Western Europe, 90 percent of mobile subscribers
have an Internetready phone
• The number of people accessing the mobile Internet is growing fast and is
expected to overtake the PC as the most popular way to get on the Web
within five years
• Only a fraction of smartphones and tablets are protected by security
• Android is forecasted to become the number one smartphone operating
system in 201112