Apart from the desire for better or faster internet access, the main reason for buying a smartphone is to gain access to mobile apps, according to Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) ConsumerLab’s Emerging App Culture report. The report is the result of research conducted in the high-growth markets of Russia, India and Brazil, and also reveals that new smartphone users embrace apps at the same pace as mature users. In addition, 69 percent of smartphone users in the survey accessed internet using apps on a daily basis and 20 percent used data-intensive services like video, TV, maps or navigation apps daily.
The top 10 activities performed by consumers who have recently purchased a smartphone, starting with the most popular, are: check in to locations, use maps for navigation or traffic info, watch internet TV, watch movies, play online games, watch streaming video, play games on social networking sites, watch live news, use Twitter, and read/write blogs.
For consumers, being connected and having access to tools and services is what matters. They make little distinction between having a smartphone and the apps they use in it. However, mobile apps are used differently across the three markets, with Indian smartphone users more interested in downloading personalization apps, such as screen savers, live wallpapers/themes and third party browsers apart from social media apps and games. On the other hand Russians put their smartphones to more utilitarian use and used apps that benefit the flow of their everyday lives, such as those for navigation and maps, shopping comparisons, barcode scanners, translators, dictionaries and so on, while the Brazilians used apps that enhanced their social interactions.
Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Senior Specialist, Ericsson ConsumerLab, says: "The app culture emerging in these high-growth markets reflects a trend similar to that in the US and other parts of the developed world. Apps are no longer only for early adopters. Although mature users use their apps more frequently than new users of smartphones, we see a general evolution toward new users purchasing increasingly specialized apps, such as those for dating services and price comparison, from the moment they get their smartphones. Usage of these specialized apps is almost as high among new users as it is among mature users."
Some app usage characteristics differ compared to mature markets. Two out of five users rarely or never visit an official app marketplace and instead download apps from third party sites and forums. Around half of the users downloaded apps on PC first and then transferred them to smartphone’s to save on data limits.
In terms of respondents’ daily app usage, 49 percent reported using apps for social networking, 39 percent for chat, 31 percent for weather forecasts, 26 percent for news, 20 percent for maps, GPS and navigation, and 12 percent for timetables and traffic.
"These figures reveal strong interest in apps that enable consumers to deal with daily challenges and interact with people, places and things in their urban surroundings. We believe that, "Smartphones and apps will be key in transforming everyday life for people in high growth markets going forward into the Networked Society", comments Sethi.
About the Emerging App Culture report
The research was carried out among smartphone users between the ages of 15 and 54 who accessed the internet using their smartphones at least once a week in three key markets: India, Russia and Brazil. The study sample is representative of smartphone owners using mobile internet across these three high-growth markets. The quantitative part of the research consisted of 1,220 online surveys performed in Russia and Brazil and quantitative and on-device measurements in India among 5,000 smartphone users in late 2011.
During the qualitative component of the research, a total of 33 in-depth interviews were carried out in the three high growth markets to gain a deeper knowledge of how these consumers use smartphones and apps, and also how they rationalize their usage.
About Ericsson ConsumerLab – The Voice of the Consumer
Ericsson ConsumerLab is a knowledge-based organization, our main offering is insight. We have more than 15 years’ experience in consumer research, which involves studying people’s values and behaviors, including the way they act and think about ICT products and services. We provide consumer insight to influence strategy, marketing and product management within the Ericsson Group. Our knowledge helps operators develop attractive revenue-generating services.
We gain our knowledge through a global research program based on annual interviews with 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 10 megacities – statistically representing the views of 1.1 billion people. We use both quantitative and qualitative research, and spend hundreds of hours on in-depth interviews and focus groups with consumers from different cultures. Our research includes general market and consumer trends and in-depth insights into specific areas.
To be close to the market and consumers, Ericsson ConsumerLab has team members in most of Ericsson’s market regions. Being part of the Ericsson Group gives us a thorough understanding of the ICT market and business models. This broad knowledge is unique and is the basis for our credibility and integrity. We see the big picture, understand where the individual fits in, and know what this means for future trends and services.
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Ericsson is the world's leading provider of communications technology and services. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-time solutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely, in sustainable societies around the world.
Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure within Information and Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries. Today more than 40 percent of the world's mobile traffic goes through Ericsson networks and we support customers’ networks servicing more than 2 billion subscribers.
We operate in 180 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. Founded in 1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 the company had revenues of SEK 226,9 billion (USD 35,0 billion). Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges.
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