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Smartphone owners in India are increasingly obsessed with their devices

Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey 2015

  • Over 50 percent of smartphone users check their devices within 5 minutes of waking up
  • Instant messaging (IM) apps and social networks are the first things consumers check on their smartphones in the morning
  • More than a third of respondents who don’t subscribe to 4G are likely to do so in the next 12 months
  • Phone owners in India are highly interested in mobile money transfers and in-store payments

New Delhi, 9 November 2015: For most smartphone owners in India, checking their phones is one of the first and last things they do in a day, according to the third Mobile Consumer report from Deloitte, a professional services firm.

The Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2015 analyses the mobile usage habits of over 2000 Indian consumers as part of a global survey of 49,000 respondents across 30 countries. As of June 2015, 86 percent of those surveyed owned smartphones, which is 12 percent higher than in 2013.

The Smartphone Addiction: According to the research, about 28 percent of smartphone owners look at their devices at least 11 to 25 times a day, while 22 percent of them check their phones at least 26 to 50 times a day. Interestingly, more than 17 percent of the respondents look at their smartphones at least 51 to 100 times a day. About 78 percent of smartphone owners check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up while more than half check within 5 minutes. This ritual is repeated at the end of the day with more than half (52 percent) checking their phones within five minutes before going to sleep every night.

The research found that communication services namely mobile IM, social networks are the first thing consumers check on their smartphones in the morning. These are followed by emails and SMS.

The research also found that Indians use their phones throughout the day and monitor various activities. “From our study, it is evident that smartphone usage has disrupted many common daily activities, and this is here to stay,” says Santosh Anoo, Senior Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (“DTTILLP”). “With e-commerce and mobile commerce on the rise, consumers are becoming extremely data hungry. There is huge scope for mobile carriers and network operators to monetize this opportunity. However, the telecom sector will need to optimize networks and infrastructure to meet consumer expectations.”

Communication Services: Deloitte India’s research shows that the rate of using voice calls and SMS has declined around 20 percent in the last 2 years. IM (10 percent) and VoIP (22 percent) saw the highest growth in usage penetration.

More than two-thirds of those surveyed are generally unsatisfied with the quality of voice calls. Lower voice calls and higher VoIP usage among early adopters could be consequences of the “poor sound quality” for standard voice calls. The VoIP usage (typically via an app) saw a 22 percent increase from 26 percent in 2013 to 48 percent in 2015. Consumers prefer VoIP for cheaper/free international calls and because of the possibility of making video calls.

Over the years, mobile network has remained the most common way of connecting to the Internet. Mr Anoo added: “In the coming years, the quality of network for Internet will be more important than the quality of network for voice calls.” More than a third of respondents that do not subscribe to 4G are likely to do so in the next 12 months. At the same time, consumers are increasingly using Wi-Fi at home, at work, or place of study for accessing the Internet. The Wi-Fi usage increased from 43 percent in 2013 to 45 percent in 2015 while mobile network usage saw a decline from 57 percent to 55 percent during the same period for accessing the Internet on smartphones.

Mobile Banking / e-Commerce on the rise: According to the research, phone owners in India are highly interested in in-store mobile payments and mobile money transfers. Given an option of in-store mobile payments, 71 percent of those surveyed said they will use the facility. Also, 54 percent of them said they are interested in mobile money transfers.

However, barriers for in-store payments uptake still exist. The most common reason given for not using phone to make a payment was fear about security—cited by 39 percent of respondents. This was followed by “I don’t see the benefits from using this” (19 percent), and “I don’t know any stores that allow this” (19 percent).

Among all shopping related activities, browsing a shopping website/app is the most popular on smartphones, while making an online purchase of a product comes next. While 85 percent of respondents use their smartphones for browsing shopping websites regularly, only 43 percent prefer to use their smartphone rather than any other devices.

Notes to the editor for reference purposes only:

About the research

The Indian data cut is part of Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Survey, a multi-country online study of mobile phone users around the world. The 2015 study comprises of 49,000 respondents across 30 countries and six continents. Data cited in this press release are based on a sample of high earning urban professional aged 18-45. Fieldwork took place during June 2015 and was carried out online by Ipsos MORI, an independent research firm, based on a question set provided by DTTILLP. 

This press release has been issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited (U74140MH199 5PTC093339) a private company limited by shares was converted into Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, a limited liability partnership (LLP Identification No. AAE-8458) with effect from October 1, 2015.

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