The Times of India today published a summary of an eye-opening study by Nokia about India mobile apps.
In November, 2010, Nokia segmented the country geographically and asked 501 mobile consumers about
India mobile apps preferences on their smartphones.
Results show significant differences in various regions of the country. Here’s a summary of the India Mobile Apps study:
- 16% of the west India population likes financial apps, the highest of any
- 23% in the south of India prefer gaming apps
- 29%–nearly a third–in the Northeast download educational apps
- One third in the south of the country primarily use smartphone apps when commuting to work
- A whopping 40% of people in the North like India music apps, far greater than other regions in the India mobile apps prefernce study
- Social networking applications are most popular in the east (39%)
- One out of seven India mobile apps users have a smartphone
- 70% of smartphone owners get their apps from Value Added Services (VAS) portals. (Operator VAS portals are most popular.)
- Mobile utility apps are key to seller profitability. Yet, KPMG says India mobile utility apps, due to lack of awareness, haven’t yet become popular but will in the next few years
- By 2012, per Gartner, the most important India mobile apps will produce the highest ROI on $300+ devices. Top apps for 2012: Social networking, location-based services, search, commerce, payment, object recognition, content-aware services, instant messaging, e-mail and video
Mobile Apps Preferences in the U.S
As applications for mobile phones worldwide emerge, carriers, developers and online app stores compete for market share based on platform (mainly iOS and Android), performance, price and word-of-mouth (viral marketing). This strategy led to many hundreds of thousands of me-to applications, primarily for iPhone and Android devices. Sellers continue fighting for consumer mind share among a growing number of smartphone brands and compatible applications.
As Nokia discovered in the India mobile apps preference study, geographic differences do affect app desirability. But more culturally diverse consumers, especially in the U.S., will likely choose smartphone apps based on other factors: hobbies and interests, game sophistication, local commerce, sports and entertainment.
The power of mobile is locally-focused. While national brands have led the way to validate mobile as a marketing channel, proving the effectiveness of locally-based campaigns is the next step in mobile’s growth.