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The State of Mobile in India in 2022

The penetration rate of smartphones in India was 54% in 2020. This has grown by more than 2X since 2016 when the number of smartphone users in India was merely 22%. The percentage of smartphone uses is expected to reach 96% in 2040. Considering the massive penetration rate of mobile phones in India, brands need to keep an eye on the ever-changing trends across the Indian market.


Data.ai carried out a study in India to analyze the rapidly growing mobile economy in the country. The study closely monitors the remarkable growth in different verticals like shopping, gaming, finance, retail, and travel.



Here are the major highlights of the report.


1. Indian Users Spend One-Third of Their Time on Mobile

Indian users spent more than 4.7 hours per day on mobile apps in 2021, which was 27% higher than the time spent in 2019. While the average person in India watched an estimated 3 hours 17 minutes of TV every day.



On the other hand, Indian users spent 4 hours 42 minutes on their mobile devices every day in 2021. This makes India the fifth country with the highest average hours spent on mobile per day per user.


2. India Accounted for 27.7 Billion Downloads in 2021

Emerging markets dominated downloads growth with India leading the pack with 26.7 billion downloads. This meant a 10% year-on-year growth. Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam were among the fastest-growing markets for downloads with an average year-on-year growth rate of 25%, 25%, 25%, and 10%, respectively.



Major categories that drove growth across both downloads and consumer spend in 2021 included Finance (27% year-on-year growth in downloads, 46% year-on-year growth in consumer spend), Books & Reference (13% year-on-year growth in downloads, 15% year-on-year growth in consumer spend), and Medical (38% year-on-year growth in downloads, 36% year-on-year growth in consumer spend).


3. 70% of Mobile Time Was Spent in Social and Photo & Video Apps in 2021

With an increase in time spent on mobile, consumers are also engaging in categories like social, communication, and photo & video apps.



Although photo & video apps have seen a surge in market share of time spent, this hasn’t been at the expense of their current habits. Rather, consumers have begun devoting their ‘non-mobile’ time to games and apps.


4. 2 Million New Apps & Games Introduced in 2021

Google Play accounted for 77% of all apps and games released in 2021. Games represented 15% of all new releases in 2021 across both iOS and Google Play. The remaining 85% of new apps span across all categories of the app stores, from mobile-first movers like social to mobile-forced industries like healthcare and insurance.


Apps are also phased out over time to leave the current live apps and games available to download on the app stores at 5.4 million (1.8 million on iOS and 3.6 million on Google Play).


5. 233 Apps & Games Generated $100 Million Annually in 2021

Consumers devoted more of their entertainment and games consumption to mobile. There were 233 apps and games in 2021 that surpassed $100 million in annual consumer spending. Of these, 13 of them even surpassed $1 billion.



There has been a substantial increase in the number of apps and games that surpassed $100 million and $1 billion in 2020. In 2020, 193 apps and games generated over $100 million, while 8 apps and games generated more than $1 billion.


6. Crypto Apps Become Popular In the Indian Market

Although the U.S. dominates the crypto space, crypto apps got a lot of traction in the Indian market. Despite being launched in Q4 across iOS and Google Play stores, CoinDCX Investment made a splash in India. Within a year of its launch, it reached #9 worldwide in terms of the most downloaded cryptocurrency apps.


7. Over 1 Billion Finance App Downloads In India



Finance app downloads in India surpassed 1 billion in 2021, at a 28% year-on-year growth. Finance app downloads worldwide totaled 5.95 billion IN 2021. Mexico, Indonesia, Argentina, and Brazil saw growth rates of 250%, 185%, 180%, and 175%, respectively.


The Bottom Line

Brands operating in India need to consider the evolving trends to get their marketing right. With a high population of 1.4 billion, a majority of which is now using smartphones, the country could be a major market for brands operating in almost every industry. The number of smartphone users in India is further going to increase over the next decade. Therefore, marketers need to keep an eye on these ever-evolving trends with respect to mobile users in India.


To delve deeper into the findings of the report, click here.