Home / Companies / Smartphone usage on the upswing in urban India

New Delhi: India’s smartphone user population is growing exponentially says a new survey by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights. The 27 million smartphone users in Urban India constitute 9% of the entire mobile user base in urban India. With 900 million mobile phone users (according to Trai) India is considered to be one of the fastest growing cellular markets and every handset maker is trying to offer the full suite of products ranging from basic phones to the high end feature loaded smartphones.

According to Ranjit Yadav, country head Samsung Mobile & IT, the Indian market is rapidly moving from feature phones to smartphones. “The rapid adoption of new technology by Indian consumers; the need of consumers to stay connected 24X7 and to do more while on the move are some factors that are driving consumer preference for mobiles," he adds.

Company executives say that with brands proliferating in this high-end category to address rising demand, even the 27 million mentioned in the Nielsen report my soon look puny given that the numbers are multiplying rapidly.

The survey was conducted by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights, among 10,464 respondents in towns with 100,000 plus population.

Source: Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights
Source: Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights

The survey also highlights the pattern of usage by smartphone users. Thus, 22 million people use their smartphones for social networking; while 24 million use it for running online searches. Another 19 million users are using it to chat and mail. A slightly lower 16 million users view streaming video, and use smartphones for maps and navigation, whereas 8 million smart phone users use it for banking & finance, travel, shopping and accessing other web portals.

Despite the growing numbers, it has not been an easy road for handset manufacturers. The Indian mobile phone market is highly fragmented and is dominated by feature phone users. The challenge with most of the brands is to break through the clutter and translate its uniqueness into increased usage.

“I think the bigger challenge for manufacturers is how to continuously innovate and bring out relevant propositions for Indian consumers across the various price points in the market," says Yadav of Samsung.

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