More than 500 Million Smartphones now Active in India

Image credit: Phil Roeder

According to studies on worldwide mobile adoption rates, India now finds itself with over 500 million active devices. Seeing an 18 percent gain from 2018 to 2019 alone, this upward trend is in line with many other countries and could mark major upcoming changes in mobile tech and connected industries. For either professional or casual use, the next few years of mobile are likely to be ones of considerable investment and further evolution.

User Proportions

As of 2020, around 4.54 billion people, or 58.8% of the world’s population, are now online. Still growing by the year, this number could reach upward of 70% by the end of the next decade. Originally confined to desktop and laptop access, users are now increasingly turning to smartphones as their primary internet device.

In 2013, the proportion of the world’s traffic from mobile devices accounted for 16.2% of the total data transmitted. This number has seen more than a 200% rise coming into 2019, where mobile traffic accounted for 53.3% of transmitted internet data. Back in India, this proportion of internet data from smartphones reaches 36.7%.

Common Use

Arising at the most popular uses of mobile phones in emerging economies such as India are for communication and social media systems. WhatsApp finds itself as the most common app in this regard, with 29% of users turning to the platform. Other common choices include Facebook, with 24% integration, and Instagram and Twitter, with 7% and 4% respectively.

In terms of entertainment, access is split more evenly over music, television and movies, and online casino games. For the first three, choices by Indian audiences typically reflect those of the greater international market. Apps like Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix are shared over the entire worldwide internet and are similarly popular, though individual rights that differ per nation can limit what these platforms can offer.

Online casino games can be as complex in this regard, due to often strict concerns governing rights and player access. Because of these issues, most online betting sites also have to undergo locale-based customisation to ensure safe and legal access. Unlike those other examples, however, the components of online casinos such as bonuses and game selection are usually far more internationally consistent.

Upward Momentum

Image credit: Christoph Scholz

Still on a growing trend, the maximum possible levels of smartphone involvement with India are yet unknown. As a general rule among all nations, a growing focus on mobile phone technology is constantly pushing towards higher levels of internet involvement. With constantly lowering costs for devices and data plans, the barriers to entry to these devices will only decrease over time.

Aiding here is India’s attention to growing mobile coverage, both in terms of older protocols and modern 5G systems. Add into this India’s young median age of 28.4 years, more users to mobile internet overall, and future improved levels of smartphone involvement appear all but guaranteed. While it remains to be seen how long it might take to find an eventually resting point, the next few years should be of immense promise for both personal and professional use.

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