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Indians spent almost 90% of all digital minutes on a mobile phone in 2017

Almost 90% of all digital minutes spent by Indians in 2017 were spent on a mobile phone, the highest among any other country, reiterating the fact that India has become a mobile-first country. The global average share of mobile-only users hovered around 30%. According to data sourced from analytics company Comscore, Indians spent 89% of all their online minutes on a phone.

Indonesia (87%), Mexico (80%), and Argentina (77%) were the other markets that were spending most of their online time on mobile phones. This was mainly due to the increasing penetration of smartphones with decreasing costs as well as a collapse in data tariffs.

On an average, in 2017, an Indian spent close to 3,000 minutes or 50 hours on the phone, as compared to 1,200 minutes on the desktop. Of the time spent on desktop and mobiles, there was an overlap.

In terms of overall usage, however, India lagged countries such as Argentina and US, which led the average minutes per user on mobile with more than 6,000 minutes and more than 5,000 minutes, respectively.

There was a 400% more unique mobile users than desktop users in India, the greatest among all the countries. This meant ‘new’ digital audience was emerging in India, that was using only mobile, way ahead of markets with a bigger mobile user base like US, UK, and others, Comscore noted.

Most of the Indians were using their time on the phone for instant messaging and social media, a trend which was global in nature. While all of the job searches by Indians were happening on the mobile, health services (like medical insurance or hospital search) was happening on the desktop.

In rest of the markets, like Argentina, Spain, Mexico, it was less than 60%. Whatsapp too saw the highest engagement share in India, with close to 98% of all minutes on messaging apps being spent on Whatsapp. The rest 2% was on Facebook messenger. Interestingly, just 1% of messaging minutes spent by Americans on Whatsapp.

The rest was on Facebook messenger. “The theme of digital consolidation has emerged recently. More than half of the markets demonstrated a positive year-on-year change in the reach of mobile apps. India witnessed a 14% hike in mobile app reach, and will continue to grow,” the company said.


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