India: Digital Market Overview

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Smartphones in India: Web browsing is for men, texts are for women

In India, women spend the same amount of time on their smartphones as compared to men. However, there are sharp contrasts in how they use their phones, according to new research. The study, from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights notes that men spend 50 percent more time browsing the web on their smartphones than women. Conversely, Women spend 3 hours more on calls every month as compared to men, and 4 times the amount of time men spend on Instant Messaging (Chat) applications.


The study also indicates that men experiment more with apps – they install, on an average, 16 applications in a month compared to just 11 by women.

Calls & Messaging

Women spend nearly 20 hours a month on calls and messaging which is almost 33 percent more than time spent by men on the same activity. Also, incoming and outgoing calls both last longer among women.

Web Browsing

Men spend 50 percent more time browsing on their smartphones than women. The average number of websites visited by men is 20 in a month compared to just 14 among women. However, women prefer social sites more than men as 43 percent of web pages visited by women are social networking sites, compared to just 32 percent for men.


Online Applications

Women use online apps substantially higher compared to men, driven mainly by chat apps such as WhatsApp Messenger (which women use three times as much as men), Google Talk and Nimbuzz. Men however, don’t mind asking for directions on their smartphones, accessing the Google Maps app more than women (45% vs 32%). Men also install more apps than women – 16 applications in a month compared to just 11 by women. For both men and women around 20 percent of all apps installed are online apps.


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