Indians love to spend a lot of hours on their mobile devices and download apps but are notoriously stingy when it comes to spending on in-app purchases, according to the “State of Mobile 2024” report by

In an increasingly mobile centric world in 2023 Indians spent 4.77 hours a day on an average on their mobiles, much more than users in the US, UK, Japan, or China. The countries where people spent more time than Indians were Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil. The number of hours spent by Indians browsing their mobiles has steadily been rising from 2020 when they spent 4.39 hours a day.

India was second on the list with downloads at 26.4 billion in 2023, second to China which recorded a dizzying 113.4 billion downloads. The third spot was taken by the US, which had a measly 12.6 billion downloads, almost stable over three years. India actually saw a dip in downloads from 2022 while China saw a decent rise.

However the scene changes drastically when it comes to consumer spends. India is nowhere in the picture and doesn’t figure anywhere in the top 20 mobile spenders. The top spender is again China with a total $52 billion – down from $58 billion year ago – and US has the second spot with a spend of $45 billion. Japan, which notched up only around 2.5 billion downloads, was a more generous consumer with a spend of nearly $18 billion.

50 per cent rise in downloads of utility and productivity apps

Globally, VPN services and web accelerators took the lead as the top sub-genres downloaded with a 42 per cent annual growth and India mirrored that trend. There was a 50 per cent rise in the downloads of utility and productivity apps, indicating savvy Indians’ preoccupation with privacy and faster net speeds. Americans were more pre-occupied with entertainment and shopping. E-commerce in fact ranked third by downloads globally and in the top 10 by time spent, while customers spent a lot on OTT apps.

What little the Indians spent was on social media and dating sites such as Bumble, on which they spent over $61 million, an annual rise of 44 per cent. Other social media sites where Indians have spent are Chamet, Instagram, YoYo, and LinkedIn. Interestingly the data shows that in-app consumer spends by Indians have risen across all genres in 2023, though obviously on a low base. For instance spends on Instagram rose a staggering eighttimes to $7.5 million.

In terms of hours, Indians spent the most time on WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

While the GenZ in India were more into user-generated content from videos to forums, the older population were tracking fitness, health, flights, and groceries.

Globally new app downloads was up oneper cent at 257 billion, translating into 489,000 apps being downloaded per minute. App Store spends rose threeper cent to $171 billion, while mobile ad spend was eightper cent higher at $362 billion.