The advent of high-speed mobile internet in India has resulted in more number of hours people are spending on their smartphones. The ongoing situation, however, has further pushed it to the increased time spent on smartphones in India.
As the entire world got plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic all of a sudden, people all over the world suddenly found themselves relying on the internet a lot more. Interestingly, the smartphone has emerged as the primary mode of getting connected with the world through internet, be it for getting work done, entertainment or education purpose.
A recent report, published by App Annie, an analytics firm for Android phones, highlights that the time spent by Indians on their smartphones increased a whopping 24% to 4.3 hours per day during this COVID-19 phase in March.
Previously, it was observed that Indians typically spent only 3.5 hours per day on an average in the month of 2019 which is significantly lower than what has been reported recently. As of now, during this lockdown, Indian consumers are spending most of their time on social media platforms, on mobile games such as the widely popular PUBG and on video conferencing applications such as Zoom. And most of such activities are performed through mobile devices.
India is the second-largest smartphone market after China. Be it the sales of smartphone devices every quarter of the active number of smartphone users in India, the country has emerged as a trendsetter. In 2020, there are an estimated 420 million active smartphone users in India and over 36.9 million smartphones were shipped in the December ending quarter 2019.
It should be noted here that this increased surge in the internet and smartphone use due to the COVID-10 outbreak is not a trend that is only being seen in India but all over the world quite unanimously.
Even in countries have that have been the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic such as Italy and Spain, the spike in smartphone usage has now surged to 34% and 28% respectively.
Smartphone Usage Activity: Short-Term Surge Only
Many analysts are of the opinion that this sudden surge in internet and smartphone activity all over the world might just sink back to the average when the lockdown is lifted and normal day to day lives resume as it happened in the case of China.
In China, which was the ground zero for the coronavirus outbreak, the country saw a 30% increase in smartphone activity wherein users were typically spending close to 5 hours per day. However, as the restrictions that were put into place eased out a bit by end of the month of March, the surge significantly dropped to 4.3 hours according to the App Annie’s report.
Increased Surge In Video Streaming During The Lockdown
The report also highlights that in India, during the week starting March 22, observed a huge jump close to 40% in video consumption alone which translates to 2.9 billion hours per week. This is a huge surge if compared to the last week of December in 2019 wherein the figures stood at 2.1 billion hours per week.
In fact, this sudden rise in video streaming was so high that all major streaming giants such as Hotstar, Amazon Prime, MX Player and more had to collectively agree to suspend their high definition video streaming to standard definition aka SD only for mobile networks. This was done so that the strain on telecoms would be reduced.
Spike In Healthcare and Meditation App Installations
Another major surge that the App Annie report observed was the increasing usage of healthcare and meditation applications during this lockdown period. Amid the outbreak and lockdown people in India are now taking more concerned about their health and taking all sort of precautions, they are turning towards such app in a huge number. According to the report, the installation of these applications increased by a whopping 30% which translates to 3.9 million during the week starting March 22.
It will now be interesting to observe how will the consumer behaviour change in relation to their internet and smartphone usage post lockdown era. We will keep you posted on all future developments. Stay tuned.