India Mobile Update – May 2012
My reading is that I would be doing updates on this topic more frequently that often considering the way we are galloping on mobile.
Mobile now accounts for 10 percent of all Internet usage worldwide, after the rise in demand and ownership of smartphones and tablets saw the proportional use of the mobile Web more than double over the last 18 months.
Asia is the region where mobile is most active, accounting for almost 18 percent of total net usage, but a sizeable increase in mobile-based surfing is also visible in Europe and Africa, among other regions. To give some context of that market, Apple alone sold 32 million iPhones and nearly 12 million iPads in the last quarter alone. Industry-wide smartphone shipments rose 40 percent year-on-year to reach 144.9 million units during the three month period, according to IDC.
Breaking the data down regionally, as per the Pingdom report India tops the pack, with 48.87 percent of its Internet usage coming from mobile devices. The rest of the countries that rely heaviest on mobile are predominantly in Africa and, when casting an eye over the data worldwide, the continent is just behind Asia as the second biggest use of mobile Internet.
While in Europe, smartphones and tablets are a more convenient way of getting online for many, the factors behind mobile Internet growth in the developing world are different. For many in countries like India, access to PCs is limited as they are often too expensive or the infrastructure necessary to deliver affordable and reliable Internet services is also expensive or unavailable. In these cases, mobile is a more accessible and affordable option. The data doesn’t break down mobile access by device type but, if it did, we’d likely see that Web-enabled feature phones are more significant in regions like Africa and Asia, where smartphones are still financially out of reach for many.
Already industries like farming have been boosted by mobile phones and the mobile Internet which, as the BBC reports, enables rural farmers in India connect with urban based buyers and develop their business.