Indian consumers spend nearly five hours a day on mobile apps: report

A new report from App Annie, an app market analysis company, sheds some numbers on something we’ve all known for 19 months now – that we’ve all been spending a lot more time on our phones since the start of the pandemic .

How much more?

According to the report, smartphone users in India spent 4.8 hours per day on average using various mobile apps in July-September (Q3) 2021, making Indians “one of the most mobile consumers in the world”.


The time Indians spend on mobile apps had increased steadily before the pandemic, but started to skyrocket early last year when Covid-19 and lockdowns became our collective reality. This means that Indian consumers spent more than four hours a day on mobile apps for the first time in 2020, bringing the total to 651 billion hours for the year. This was a 40% jump from 2019, when Indians spent “only” 3.3 hours a day on apps.

In fact, the time spent using apps each day has increased from less than three hours in the first quarter of 2019 to 4.6 hours in the first quarter of 2021, an impressive 80% jump in two years.

Mobile games

Recognized by industry leaders

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India is the world’s largest market for mobile games in terms of downloads on Android and iOS. In the first half of 2021, Indian gamers installed 4.8 billion games, or one in five installed globally, according to the report.


The best game of this period, in terms of downloads and active users, was Ludo King, a free-to-play title developed by Indian studio Gametion Technologies.

The report notes, however, that Ludo King, which was made in India, is some kind of anomaly. Games made in India barely make it into the country’s game rankings, and only 7.6% of the top 1000 games are made by Indian companies. “The situation is very different in other regions. In China, the local production ratio is 60%, ”the report said.


Mobile payments

India is also setting the tone for mobile payments, according to the report, largely thanks to the unified payments interface. UPI transaction volume doubled in one year to almost 8 billion in the second quarter of 2021. Earlier this month, we reported that UPI transactions exceeded $ 100 billion for the first time in October.


This growth, according to the report, has created a significant opportunity among developers to build apps for traders. “According to our figures, one of the market leading products, Khata Book, had 14 million average monthly active smartphone users in India in the second quarter of 2021,” he said.

Others that have benefited from UPI are “buy now, pay later” and credit apps such as StashFin, Dhani, Kisht and Slice Super Card, which give consumers access to near instant credit.

Other highlights

Finance: Crypto trading apps are booming, with CoinSwitch, WazirX, and Zebpay Bitcoin Wallet recording the most cumulative downloads in Q2 2021.

The number of hours devoted to the top 5 investment and trading applications increased by 65% ​​in 2020 compared to the previous year. Upstox Pro, WazirX, and CoinSwitch saw the strongest download growth among financial apps in the second quarter of 2021.

Social networks and video streaming: YouTube is still the video platform Indians spent the most time on, while Telegram made its way into the top 10 for social and entertainment apps in the second half of 2021.

Shopping and food: In the first quarter of 2021, digitally-focused shopping apps saw an average of 23 sessions per user each month, compared to 10 for those with an online and offline presence.

Food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy, and fast food apps like McDonald’s and KFC led food and beverage apps in terms of downloads in the first quarter of 2021.

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Casey J. Nelson