Mobile app usage in India - Statistics & Facts

As an increasingly mobile dependent country, India’s growth in the number of smartphones has been tremendous in the last decade. Not surprisingly, this also meant a steadily prospering mobile internet market, with fierce competitors and frequently discounted data packs for smartphones or feature phones that have an internet facility.

As a primarily Android-driven market, Indian consumers prefer models of Xiaomi, Samsung, OPPO and Vivo among others. Faster adoption of 4G, user experiences and an emphasis on cameras help sell these phones across the Indian market. About 80 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile phones. The diversification across rural and urban users, traversing income brackets and age-groups contributes towards a booming mobile apps market as well. Four in ten Indians used between six and ten apps a day.

Estimated to make over 2.1 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2021, the app market accounted for 88 percent of a user’s time on his or her phone. Among an array of choice, video consumption made the largest leap in recent years. A study estimated that videos would take up 75 percent of mobile data in the country by 2021, an increase from 49 percent in 2016. Along with watching videos, social media usage was high on the list of smartphone activities. Facebook and its subsidiaries dominated social media platforms after YouTube.

The Digital India initiative, along with other advances made by the Narendra Modi-led government since 2014 has led to a stupendous growth in the digital payments market as well. It was probably a symbiotic influence between mobile wallets and online shopping – a win-win for both sectors, recording significant growth. The effects of this were seen most clearly during India’s prime festival season. This was led primarily by Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale and Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. Online shopping accounted for 32 percent of app installations in 2017.

An average user spent nearly 4.5 hours on her/his phone daily. This involved availing services -ordering food, planning travel, playing games and hailing rides. Some of the biggest winners in recent years within the country’s app market were Ola cabs with the home advantage over Uber; Flipkart’s fashion retailer Myntra; TVoD leader Hotstar, music on demand Gaana, and movie and event ticket booking app BookMyShow. Among digital payments, Paytm was popular. Teen Patti, a popular card game which is the Indian version of poker, except with three cards instead of five, was also a gaming app with over five million downloads.

Although China leads the world’s app economy , India’s growing digital population and rapidly changing consumption patterns could be a sign to watch out for. Despite a 25 percent penetration rate for this market in India, the numbers amount to more than the population of the United States. It remains to be seen how successful home-grown app companies turn out to be in terms of popularity compared to their western counterparts.

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Mobile app usage in India

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Important key figures

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Indian mobile usage

Popular mobile apps in India

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