India currently has about 150 million mobile web users and they account for more than 40 per cent of the total number of internet users in the country. Out of the 150 million mobile web users, 100 million mobile web users are on-deck (indicates mobile web properties owned by telecom operators) users while the remaining are off-deck (means mobile web properties which are not owned by a telecom operator) users. And the number of off-deck users is expected to cross the 70 million mark by the end of 2011, said Mahesh Narayanan, country manager, business development (mobile) of Google India according to afaqs.
78 per cent mobile web users are in the age group of 18-34 years, 23 per cent users' access internet on their smartphones and majority of mobile internet users (75 per cent) are males. According to Mahesh around 15 to 30 per cent of the traffic on websites will be routed via mobile devices in the next year and a half. This is mainly because of the growing popularity of the mobile phones across the globe.
"It took about 20 years to reach the one billion mobile devices mark. The second billion took about four years. The third billion took about two years. The fourth billion in mobile devices actually took less than a year and if we compare the growth of adoption of mobile devices with other media platforms, we will find that mobile is the fastest growing medium. Radio took 38 years to cross the 50 million (adoption) mark. Television took 13 years to cross the 50 million mark. Internet took four years to achieve the same number of users while the Apple iPhone took just three years to reach 50 million" said Mahesh.
He added that Android is the most popular operating system since more than four lakh Android devices are activated on a daily basis around the globe as compared to 3.75 lakh iOS (Apple iPhone software) activations. Additionally, Mahesh pointed out that the mobile applications (app) economy is growing rapidly (eight billion mobile apps were downloaded around the globe in 2010) and emphasized that finding new ways to leverage the app economy is essential since app development is a completely new phenomenon.
Referring to the results of a study conducted by Google, Narayan said "Consumers are using mobile devices for search, social connectivity and commerce and 50 per cent of smartphone users start their mobile web usage through 'internet search' while 80 per cent smartphone users 'search mobile web for information' at least once daily on their mobiles."
Additionally, 73 per cent of the users that were a part of the study accessed social networking sites through mobiles and 56 per cent of smartphone users shopped with the help of their mobile phones.