Indian smartphone users spend more than 3 hours a day on their phones

Ericsson_ReportMobile has eaten the world and developing countries like India contribute largely to the smartphone penetration and increase in data consumption (see a list of made in India apps with a million+ downloads). A new report from Ericsson ConsumerLab reveals how growth in smartphones and app usage in India are creating new user habits. Indoor coverage, speed and network availability are the key factors shaping smartphone behavior.

The study was carried out in April-June 2014 among 4000 smartphone users across 18 urban cities in India and some very interesting numbers have been revealed:

  • Over the last two years, there has been a 63% increase in app usage
  • Over the last two years, there has been a 20% increase in terms of time spent by users on smartphones
  • On an average, Indian consumers spend over 3 hours a day on their smartphones
  • 25% consumers check their phones over 100 times a day
  • Around one-third of the time spent on smartphones is for using apps
  • Social and chat apps are the reason why most new users buy a smartphone. However, 40% mature smartphone users say their usage is no longer limited to social purposes
  • 24% of smartphone owners use mobile apps such as WhatsApp and WeChat for business purposes to sell products and services
  • Without the availability of Wi-Fi or fixed broadband at home, 8 in 10 smartphone users will continue to access mobile internet using mobile broadband
  • Mobile video usage is evolving, with mobile broadband users spending 61% more time on video apps compared to non-users
  • one-third of consumers, smartphones are the only screen they use to view online mobile videos. The most popular way of consuming mobile videos is through chat apps – 1 in 3 watches videos shared by friends. Consumers prefer to stream videos rather than download, but 4 out of 10 mobile videos are interrupted by buffering or stalling

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Some perception drivers amongst consumers:

  • Indian smartphone users often build perceptions based on how often the internet connection drops, how quickly web pages load, and time taken for apps to download
  • Other top perception drivers include indoor coverage and time taken to transfer files on chat apps
  • Consumers indicate that indoor coverage, speed and network availability are very important, but half of all issues encountered today in dense urban centers by mobile broadband users are faced indoors and 44% of the time a mobile broadband smartphone user does not have access to the network
  • Smartphone users prioritized the service provider’s ability to solve mobile data issues as and when they arise over cheap mobile data tariffs or plans

This report by Ericsson Consumer Lab is full of insights and has some really good data for anyone interested in the mobile space. Get your hands onto the report here.

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About the author

Jubin is an old timer at YourStory. Deeply entrenched in the Indian startup ecosystem, he has written about and analysed more than 1000 startups. He operates from the mountains in Dharamshala where he plays with technology, farming and eco-construction. He can be reached on Twitter @jub_in and on mail at

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