A lot can change in a year. Especially, the Indian mobile space has changed a lot in 2014. New Android smartphones are launched every alternate day, more & more China-based brands have penetrated the market with affordable devices. It’s been a good year for both small and large companies; we witnessed the online-only sales model turning out to be a hit in our country. By and large, Android smartphones have enjoyed a majority market share.
Last year, we did a consumption report for Android by compiling data of close to 1.3 million downloads of apps by 10 popular brands. This year too we’re back with more insights on mobile and Android usage in India. Our report has been consolidated with over 33 million app downloads as gathered by some of India’s most famous app developers.
Here’s thanking all the apps who made this report possible:
Using data that we received from these apps, here are some key insights that we extrapolated.
Market share of Android versions active in India:
Clearly, Jelly Bean and KitKat are the ruling delicacies in India. While Jelly Bean just had over 10% share last year in our country, this year it has grown 5x more to gain a majority stake at 52%. Even Google’s dashboard indicates Jelly Bean with the highest share of over 48% globally. Android 4.4 KitKat came out last year and thankfully it has had a very fast growth — quickly gaining a 43% share. In comparison, Google’s dashboard also places KitKat at the 2nd spot with 33% share globally.
For your reference, here’s Google’s latest Android platform versions dashboard:
Naturally, the much older versions — ICS and Gingerbread are declining in both India (5%) as well as globally (17%). Android 5.0 Lollipop just got announced a month ago and we’re yet to see devices running on it, as majority of phones still haven’t gotten the update.
Here’s what Deepak Abbot, Head — Mobile Growth at Times Internet said:
“I guess because true Android revolution began about a year back and majority volume of Android phones were sold in last 12 months (5 million a month each) – hence most of them came with ICS & upwards”
Sarang Lakare, Founder & CEO at Volare Technologies (IntouchApp) said:
“India has caught on the smartphone bandwagon late. So it is natural that older versions of Android are either not being used, or used in the secondary market (lower buying power). People moving to smartphones in the last year or so (which is the BIG jump) are not on Gingerbread. Also, tech savvy people switching from Blackberry are also on post-Gingerbread Androids.”
Our survey participants also indicated the most popular Android phones used:
Samsung turning out with two smartphones among the top three is no surprise as the company still owns the highest market share in India. Motorola’s Moto G (1st Gen) was quite a popular device and garnered acclaim from both critics as well as consumers. The company offered an almost stock Android 4.4 running phone at an affordable price. Also, the formula of online-only sale model has clearly worked for them. Flipkart & Motorola seem to have captured a very savvy user base with the Moto G, making it the most used Android device for accessing popular apps in India.
Alok Goel, CEO Freecharge, shared his insights on how smartphones and platforms have evolved in their startup. He says,
“In last 10 months, our product strategy has changed from Mobile-first to Mobile-only. It is a reflection of the exponential growth we have witnessed on mobile transactions and is in line with our company’s vision. India had only 2M mobile internet users in 2009 and now we have over 100M mobile internet users. India is already past the hockey stick growth trend on mobile and we are seeing same for our business. Current split of transactions of Mobile Platforms at FreeCharge is Android-heavy at 95%. However, Windows Phone is also growing at a very rapid pace. We expect India to be a country of Android and Windows Phone in a year from now.”
Even on PriceBaba.com, affordable Windows Phones like the Nokia Lumia 520, Lumia 620 have gained a position among the top 100 phones in the entire of 2014.
Manu, Head of Product & Vrishank, Head of Communications at BookMyShow, further commented,
“We have been seeing great numbers on the Android platform, which should not come as a surprise to anyone. What is surprising is that the Windows Phone platform has also shown good download numbers, but lags behind in usage and transaction volumes. And iOS users have been the most engaged ones.”