About 40-50 % of Indian Internet users will access the web only on mobile phones by 2015, says a new survey report. Mobile internet use through feature phones and smartphones is already more widespread than PC and laptop penetration, said the survey based on 4500 responses gathered by the Boston Consulting Group’s Center for Consumer and Customer Insight.
“In tier 4 areas, for example, the penetration of mobile Internet usage is 15 percent, not so different from the 20 percent mobile-usage penetration in metro areas. For PC- and laptop-based Internet usage, penetration is only 9 percent in tier 4 areas, versus 25 percent in metros,” the survey said.
According to BCG, nearly 60 percent (as measured in aggregate Internet hours consumers report they consume) already lies outside the largest cities, and it is the midtier towns that will drive growth.
For 2015, we project a four-fold growth in Internet hours, with nearly 40 percent of demand coming from tier 4 towns and rural areas; 22 percent coming from tier 1, 2, and 3 cities; and about 38 percent coming from metro areas, the report said.
India is where China was in 2006 in terms of penetration. China’s penetration rate is now about 40 percent, and its ecosystem has really burgeoned.
- Out of four segments the consulting group divided the respondents into, the “trendsetters,” or young, affluent, and tech savvy who account for 13 % of the sample spend 54 hours a month online. They are just as likely to be found in smaller cities as in larger ones.
- “Reluctant adopters,” 22 percent of the sample, are older and are tech dependent without being tech savvy.
- “Smart shoppers,” 32 percent of the sample, are tech savvy but price constrained. They tend to be students or people with lower income levels.
- The “tech indifferents,” 33 percent of our sample, are older, late adopters. They started using the Internet because it came into their homes for their children or because they wanted to keep in touch with friends and family.