India still has a long way to go increasing its smartphone penetration but those who are already connected seem to be using it heavily.

A recent mobile survey conducted by IPSOS and Google reveals that Indian smartphone users are accessing the Internet more than their counterparts in the US.

According to the survey, 56 per cent of smartphone users in the country access the Internet multiple times a day, nearly 40 per cent surf the Net at least once a day and only 6 per cent never use their phone for connecting to the Web. In comparison, 11 per cent of smartphone users in the US never use their device to access the Net and 53 per cent use it to surf multiple times a day.

EMAILS, SOCIAL NETWORKING

Indians also score higher when it comes to accessing emails and social networking sites on their smart phones. According to survey, about 76 per cent of smartphone users in India access social networking sites on their devices compared to 54 per cent in the US.

“The survey reiterates our belief in ‘mobile first'. Culturally, even beyond the well-educated, mainstream Indians are technology curious and device savvy. We believe that the Internet-like telephony did, is making the leap from wired Internet to mobile, and hundreds of millions of Indians will go online on their mobile devices,” said Mr Lalitesh Katragadda, Country Head, India Product, Google India, told Business Line.

“At Google, we are building a powerful, simple, personable mobile ecosystem that helps every user be connected as they want and when they want to,” he added.

The survey reveals the usage of smartphone between the age group of 18- 29 is the highest in the country. While 36 per cent of all smartphone owners in India are in this age group, only 17 per cent are in the 30 to 49 age group.

Music tops the chart

In terms of usage, 77 per cent of smartphone owners listen to music, while 33 per cent use it for playing games and 32 per cent read newspapers or magazine.

According to Canalys, Indian smartphone market stood at 3 million units in the third quarter of 2011 up from 1.7 million units in the same period in 2010. The Google survey points out that 66 per cent of existing smart phone users believe they would access the Internet more through their handhelds in the future.

tkt@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 27, 2012)
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