Indians spend more time on cellphones than TV

22 Dec,2016


The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) in association with Kantar IMRB has released a report on Smartphones and Feature Phones Usage and Behaviour 2016-17 in India. The report studies the evolving nature of the Indian mobile consumers, and provides insights and behaviors individually on smartphones and feature phones.



I. Time spent on mobile surpasses any other media

An average consumer spends 3 hours per day on their smartphones (an increase of 55% from 2015), which surpasses time spent on TV or any other media. Social media and messaging apps were the clear leaders accounting for almost 50% of all time spent on smartphones.

II. Women more engaged than Men

The study shows that Women spend 2x more time on their smartphones compared to Men – on YouTube and games. They also spent 80% more time on Facebook than their male counterparts.

III. Online shopping gains in leaps and bounds


Another finding revealed the rise of online shopping category, which now has 15% higher reach than the entertainment – making it the second most popular category in terms of reach.



I. Prime users are from upper SECs

The study shows a whopping 75% of feature phone users were from the upper SECs, while only 25% of respondents were from SEC C, D and E (NCCS).

II. Feature phone users don’t intend to switch

A big revelation has been that almost 85% feature phone users do not intend to switch to smartphones on their next purchase indicating that the functional benefits of feature phones combined with their durability, battery life and ease of repair were highly coveted by these users.

III. Feature phones users spend more on mobile plans


Feature phone users spend more money on their mobile plans. The ARPUs was almost 20% higher compared to the national average.


Said D Shivakumar, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India Holdings and Chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association: “With over 85% mobile penetration, we are today one of the largest mobile markets globally and insights on mobile usage in India are of critical importance to the modern day marketer. We are in an age now where we need to seriously think about marketing measurement and attribution, giving marketers better measurements, tools and confidence in connecting marketing to business outcomes.  A thorough understanding of the differential usage and consumer segments that are using smartphones and feature phones will only help marketers use their monies more efficiently. While most designing and applications are being targeted at smartphones, this report is a wake-up call. Today, the mobile is undeniably the closest we can get to our consumers, and it is this that will help marketers seek to understand – and leverage – a consumer’s path to purchase”.


Added  Preeti Desai, Country Manager, Mobile Marketing Association India: “Mobile is clearly the third largest mass medium in terms of Ad spends in India today, with estimated spends in 2016 amounting to ₹.4,200 Cr. Hence it becomes very important for the industry to have credible research and measurement guidelines and reports, to help fully understand and leverage mobile’s ability to drive the future growth of business. With this in mind, MMA India has collaborated with Kantar IMRB to deep-dive into the dynamics implications and impact of smart phones and feature phones India focusing on each category separately and giving each their due focus. The insights of this study will be published in a series of industry reports that will go a long way in helping marketers use the medium effectively and efficiently. It is a great data set for marketers to reassess and optimize their spending with the most impactful allocations in their marketing mix, while leveraging mobile with double digit spend.”


Hemant Mehta, Senior Vice President, media and retail, Kantar IMRB, said, “Mobile has had an outsized influence on the way consumers interact with each other, make decisions, transact and shop. This has significantly impacted the way companies and brands connect with their consumers and do business. But we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. With the advent of 4G, reduced data costs and free voice and SMS, we expect to see even more rapid changes in the mobile landscape. It is, therefore, important to keep a continuous pulse on the way consumers interact with and use their mobile phones. Along with MMA, we at Kantar IMRB have embarked on a journey to help marketers understand the impact of these changes and to identify emerging trends. The Smartphone and Feature phone reports are a step in this direction – providing an unbiased and insightful view on the evolution of mobile usage in India.”


The report enables all members of the ecosystem to stay updated with consumer mobile trends and media consumption habits. Also at the same time, it elaborates the role of mobile as an influencer in the consumer path-to-purchase.


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