Are Indians really obsessed with the mobile phone? The answer is a resounding yes, if one goes through Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers’ Internet Trends Report 2017. The report states that the dominance of the mobile phone in India is growing by leaps and bounds. India is just behind China in the use of the Internet. As of June 2016, there were 355 million internet users in India and 277 million broadband users as of March 2017. In fact, the internet is a rage among the young. The report states that 72 percent of the internet users are aged 35 and less. The mobile phone is playing a pivotal role in the surge of the internet. It has also been estimated that the mobile phones contribute to around 80 percent of the web traffic in the country. Despite the fact that just 27 percent of the population in the country has currently access to the Internet, still the Internet is witnessing a big increase.
The falling prices of smartphones and internet data has enabled the common man to have easy access to these two mediums. Today people are spending more time on the internet. The spare time, while traveling or at home, is utilized browsing various sites.
Smartphone Becomes Handy
Today smartphones are much more affordable than what they were a few years ago. There was a time, though not too long ago, when the smart phones were considered as rich people’s toys. They were exorbitantly priced and as such were out of the reach of a significant section of the population. However, with the entry of cheaper smartphones, especially Chinese, the cost of smartphones came down and as such became more affordable for the common man. Between the years 2014 and 2017, Chinese mobile companies became significant players in India. These years witnessed the rise of Oppo, Lenovo, Vivo, Xiaomi etc, which brought with them a range of quality features.In fact, Chinese players sell more than 50 percent of the smartphones in India. There are also a number of Indian players such as Lava, Jio and Micromax that are competing with each other for the affordable 4G feature phone.
Cheap Data Rates
Over the years, Internet data rates have fallen which have brought it into the reach of the common man. Reliance Reliance Jio’s Lyf branded phones further increased the competition in the smartphone market which has made them much more affordable for the people. Jio has significantly contributed to the fall of Internet rates. It has been estimated that right now people are spending around Rs 21 on an average on the Internet. With the entry of Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea and Bharti Airtel have also cut data rates. As per the report, the average price of data fell substantially, decreasing to around 20 percent among incumbents by March 2017.
Spending more time on Entertainment Apps and Social Networks
Indians are spending quite a lot of time on their mobiles which adds up to 28 hours per week. In fact, Indians are much ahead than Mexicans, Brazilians and even the Americans when it comes to spending time on the internet. Entertainment is the top preferred activity for Indians on the mobiles with 45 percent of their time spent on this activity. Coming at the second place is search, social and messages, which occupies some 34 percent of the time. However, news and media score poorly with Indians spending just 2 percent of their time on this activity. WhatsApp is the most downloaded app in the country, followed by Facebook Messenger. ShareIt and Truecaller are the third and fourth most downloaded apps, while Facebook comes at the fifth place. The other five apps are UC Broser, Mix Player, Hotstar, Jio TV, and Facebook Lite.