If Mobile Apps Shape Who We Are..Indians Mean Business

Indians have adopted some typical habits and they all relate to smartphones. Cornell University’s Professor Trevor Pinch and Nokia conducted a study, in which 5022 smartphone users were surveyed. These users are from 10 different countries across Asia, Europe, UK and USA. The motive of the study was to learn the smartphone behaviour of the typical consumers of these countries.

Mobile apps have become a way of life. All major mobile operating systems have their very own app stores. Android has over 200,000 apps in the Android Market, iOS has over 300,000 apps in the App Store. Nokia’s app directory, OVI Store is growing everyday. We have also heard that Accenture and BSNL will be launching their very own mobile app stores. There are thousands of developers working at this. The reason being, we the consumer want better apps everyday to make our life a bit easier.

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The study revealed that 58% Indian smartphone users think mobile application programs are for benefiting them. While at home consumers use 31% apps and at the time of travelling and at work they use 24% and 10% apps respectively. The research also shows that consumers are up to quality, not quantity. The number of mobile apps available isn’t the most important thing for them, which the quality and user-friendliness are. Amongst the surveyed users, 70% said they have around 30 apps in their smartphones, most of which are redundant. They said they are looking for a better app to show up, then they will hastily delete the extra ones.

Karl Marx once said that man will one day bend down on his knees before his creation. Professor Trevor Pinch echoed this by saying; “Our relationship with them has turned from occasional use into a real dependency. It is because of this that our personal apps ‘collections’ represent our unique needs, personality and interests. We can learn much about a person’s behaviour via a mix of their choice of apps, personality variables, use variables and competence variables.”

The study revealed few other details about consumers and they are quite interesting. Entertainment and social networking prevail over business as the percentages of music and social networking apps downloaded are higher than the percentage of business apps downloaded. Utilities are as important as games since both share the same percentage (21%) of downloads. Indian girls had reputation of being overly chatty, they proved it right as the percentage of women who are up for social networking (43%) is higher than that of men (38%). Not to mention that the teenagers download social networking apps most, because they have huge lists of friends, unlike adults.

Country wise, the behaviors pertaining to using apps differ. For example, Indians want to get their grips on cutting edge technologies and prefer business-focused apps like email and expense managers, while 17% of them prefer downloading free apps. Brazilian users like downloading music apps while Germans prefer workable applications like flashlights, alarm clocks etc. Consumers from Singapore like playing online games and download gaming apps most and a large number of Italians rely find their mobile apps substitutes for travel guides.

Apps have become so dominant in our lives that we decide whether a phone or OS is good, not by its specifications but by the inventory of apps it provides. This is the reason behind Symbian, BlackBerry and WP7 losing out to the likes of Android and iOS. The galore of apps the two have provided has changed the future of mobile communication.

Based on the findings of the study, George Linardos, VP of media at Nokia said, “Apps are the way in which we bring our devices to life and empower them to be like our own personal magic wands.” And he was right in saying this. We don’t notice it, but apps shape us.

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