An astounding 40 percent of all Google searches in India are conducted using mobile phones, according to Google India managing director Rajan Anandan, and 67 percent of e-commerce happens on mobile devices, reports the Business Standard.
These numbers were revealed by Anandan during Confluence 2011, a three-day business seminar organised by the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad. The 40 percent figure is especially striking, in light of the fact that only 14 percent of search queries in the USA, 11 percent in Russia and 6 percent in the UK are run from mobile phones.
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It does not come as a surprise that Google is buoyed by the growing spread of Internet connectivity in India, a cause that it has tried to contribute to through initiatives such as the Internet Bus, which has so far enabled 1.5 million Indians to use the Internet for the first time, and the offer of free Web hosting to small and medium business owners in India to set up their own websites.
Anandan had earlier stated that India would have 300 million Internet users by 2014, a three-fold increase from its current online population of just over 100 million people, and that the biggest driver of growth would be the increasing adoption of mobile phones and the spread of 3G and 4G networks in the country.
He also revealed the following numbers about mobile phone adoption in India:
The mobile phone space is leading the way with currently 50 million mobile Internet users in India. In fact, this year alone about $500 million worth mobile phones will be brought in India.
Smartphone adoption is growing in the country at a rate of 56 percent year-over-year, with 21 million smartphones sold in India in 2011 so far. He said that the sector was expected to reach sales of 100 million units per year by 2015, a 476 percent growth in a span of four years.
These statistics are borne out by practical evidence from a quick glimpse around daily life in India. The rise of cheap, Android-powered smartphones and affordable 2G and 3G connectivity has enabled even the least advanced Internet users to get online through their mobile phones.
It is easier to sign up for telecom services than wired broadband connections and the speeds are sufficient for the majority of Internet users in the country. If the young mobile phone users in urban India are any indication, Google’s estimates are bang on target, and mobile Internet use should become increasingly popular in the coming years.