Indians prefer smartphones to TVs

Indians prefer smartphones to TVs

Summary: A recent survey claims nearly 56 percent of smartphone users in India find their smartphones more entertaining than their TV sets.

TOPICS: Smartphones

In most households in India, evenings used to be a time when families sat together for dinner. Some decades ago, the idiot box changed that and families started watching soap operas or news together. The time spent at the dinner table, discussing the day's events, reduced considerably.

But if a survey conducted by Google-IPSOS is to be believed, smartphones are changing even this phenomenon. India is leading the race in adopting smartphones, over televisions, for entertainment purposes, the survey revealed.

While calling, texting, and e-mailing are now standard activities on any smartphone, users in India are ready to do more on these sleek devices. The survey, conducted across 40 nations, showed in mature smartphone markets including the United States, United Kingdom and Germany less than 27 percent people are willing to give up the time they spend watching television for smartphones. By comparison, in India, a whopping 49 percent smartphone owners are ready to give up the TV rather than their mobile phones.

"This surprising shift is attributable to the combination of communication and entertainment options that the smartphone brings to users," a statement issued by Google said.

The study also noted 56 percent of Indians find their smartphones more entertaining than the television. In comparison, countries such as the U.S. with 21 percent and the U.K. with 18 percent were nowhere close to India's enthusiasm.

"While the overall penetration of smartphones is higher amongst males in India, it is women who are leading the usage of smartphones over TV sets. The usage and loyalty behavior of these users revealed that 58 percent women found their smartphones more entertaining than the television,” the statement said.

These women are not just watching shows online to entertain themselves, but also using smartphones to find information on where to hang out with friends, connect with them over social networks, and shop online.

"Indian smartphone owners in the male category are not far behind when it comes to using the smartphone over the television; but more than 55 percent of them are glued to watching videos on their devices," it said.

"This is a truly astonishing trend among India's first wave of smartphone users, caused by high quality online video content and superb apps. Although penetration is behind many developed nations, the importance of these multi-purpose gadgets in the lives of Indian smartphone users is much higher in comparison to their global counterparts," Lalitesh Katragadda, country head of India products at Google India, said in a statement.

"We expect this momentum and affinity to cascade into an inflection in India's smartphone adoption, driven by significant price reduction of high quality devices over the next two years," he added.

While smartphone adoption might be on the rise, I wonder what implications this trend has on the eyesight and interpersonal relationships of an entire generation that seems glued to their smartphones.


 When smartphones are more entertaining than TV

Mobile phones

Topic: Smartphones

Swati Prasad

About Swati Prasad

Swati Prasad is a New Delhi-based freelance journalist who spent much of the mid-1990s and 2000s covering brick-and-mortar industries for some of India's leading publications. Seven years back when she took to freelancing, India was at the peak of its "outsourcing hub" glory and the world of Indian IT, telecom and Internet fascinated her. A self-proclaimed technophobic, Swati loves to report on anything that's remotely alien to her--be it cloud computing, telecom, BPOs, social media, e-government or software and hardware, and also how high-tech sectors impact the Indian economy.

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  • Interesting

    It would also be interesting to know what percentage of the population does this analysis apply - in terms of income, demographics, gender distribution, and location (of residence). A profile of jobs that this population is engaged in would add to building up a clearer picture of the population. My suspicion is that while the percentage as a whole is high, but relative to India's population, the numbers are still low. It would be good to verify this.

    Nevertheless, this article makes for an interesting read. Thanks.
    • Very true

      I am one of the typical users mentioned here. We have 3 galaxy devices at home S3, Note and Tab and the choice of our TV (and the one I gifted my parents) was primarily based on how they connect to phones on DLNA. Phone is increasingly the window to even TVs with phones being used as a remote. Half the time the DVDs you buy online do not play! and one ends up ripping your DVD (forced to learn when stuck with a region locked DVD). The same is true even for those bought from Landmark.
      My next TV will be benchmarked for HTML5 / web performance and Miracast.
  • programming glitch

    Could it be the quality of programming in India? An internet equipped phone would allow them to access better programming from other nations.
    • Quality of programming

      There are reasonable programs on the English channels but most are telecast later than in other countries (one exception was Missing) and they just tickle your taste and then leave people salivating which may force people to look elsewhere.
      The choice of English movies available on VOD services is pathetic (Video on demand is available on TataSky but choices are pathetic.
      There are some services which offer a lot of movies on mobile but I have never watched them again due to poor choice (numbers are big). It could boil down to my choices whihc might be considered high brow by most of these companies.
      We are eagerly waiting for Google Play and NetFlix to bring their movies and programming to India
  • Very true...

    My daughter will give up TV but NEVER her smartphone...