Mind Dots Software Systems recently conducted a survey on Mobile App Usage Pattern in India. Mind Dots is a two year old startup technology company focused on Web and mobile application development.
The research manages to capture data from wide variety of customers – both online and offline – and geographically diverse. It gives interesting insights into smartphone usage, as well as mobile web and app usage diversity. If you are a mobile app developer, you might want to know your customer base.
Smartphone Users – Switching over to Smartphone
The best takeaway from this survey is that only 21% of the sample surveyed is not interested in smartphones. While over half of them already own smartphones, 52% of the rest are looking to buy one within six months. No wonder, the platform companies, carriers and handset manufacturers have huge stakes in the market while analysts place big bets over leading platforms.
Mobile Internet – Usage and Browser vs. Native Apps
With falling prices for mobile data plans in midst of fierce competition between service providers, more consumers are getting on to mobile Web. I reckon this usage was far less till a couple of years back. GPRS/EDGE was a geek’s indulgence. The growth of course also owes to rise of smartphone numbers which have better browsers to experience the ‘full’ Web, and not just stripped down mobile Web. Another obvious reason is rise of social networking, most part of which is addictive and makes you log on while you’re on the move. A business document can wait for your time on the desktop, but a photo of your lunch menu mandates immediate upload and comments. The 24% of mobile internet usage is for social networking sites, closely next to email, the biggest on the move indulgence.
While only about half of the sampled users prefer native apps to mobile Web sites, I think this number should be on the rise exponentially. While some Web services are app-only with no Web equivalent (e.g. Instagram, Amazon Kindle, etc.), few others have restricted Web counterparts (Foursquare doesn’t give recognition badges to check-ins via their mobile Web site). Apps that are location-based or use phone’s accelerometer are on the rise, and only native apps can fully explore the power of a smartphone’s platform and the increasingly powerful hardware.