News Center >


4 minute read | September 2018
  • Nielsen Smartphone featured insight highlights the usage behaviour of Indian smartphone users across entry level, mid and premium segments
  • Despite the availability of economically priced smartphones, average smartphone prices have registered a steady increase
  • Higher proportion of women use premium handsets than men
  • Indians now consume 1GB of data a day compared to erstwhile 4GB a month
  • 50% of total time spent on smartphone are on chat, video-streaming, browsers , social networking and image apps

Mumbai, 26th September 2018  – Nielsen India today unveiled its featured insight titled “What Handsets Say about Consumers” – exploring the relationship between the price band, consumer profile and usage differences among smartphone users in India. The insight is based on analysis of the On-Device Measurement (ODM) data by dividing smartphones (excluding super premium models), into three major price categories. The categories are Entry Level Handsets (priced

India has emerged among the most preferred smartphone markets in the world owing to affordable handset prices and low cost data penetration – triggering a huge replacement demand among the young and aspiring customers across segments. Despite the availability of economically priced smartphones, average smartphone prices are still increasing. The user habits of Indian smartphone users highlight that users across the segments (entry level, mid and premium) spend more than 90 minutes a day on online activities while the premium segment takes the usage up to 130 minutes per day. When it comes to app usage in terms of category, chat and VoIP apps dominate usage across customer segment followed by browser apps. Interestingly, uTorrent Beta app dominates across categories when it comes of consumption of data; followed by YouTube across customer segments.

Commenting on the report, Abhijit Matkar, Director -Technology IPG – Nielsen India, said, “The advent of high-speed 4G internet, less-expensive mobile handsets and a correction in call data charges have encouraged the speedy adoption of smartphones. To meet the demand of the mass market, new Chinese and Indian handset makers have launched affordable handsets, which are under INR 5,000. This sudden influx of affordable smartphones created a whole segment of new consumers who either upgraded from feature phones or were new mobile users altogether.”

“The price of handsets and data is emerging as a remarkable surrogate for monitoring the ever- widening set of users and their smartphone usage, thereby facilitating business and marketing strategy for better return on investment (ROI)”, added Abhijit.

The featured insight also attempts to define the way forward, with new categories of users, like school-going children, elders and housewives, are entering the segment. The report identifies, more purchasers are emerging from tier 3, 4 and 5 towns, as well as rural areas. So whole new markets are emerging with different sets of needs and expectations. The strategies to cater to this new demand also need to change.


Average smartphone price: Despite the availability of economically priced smartphones, average smartphone prices are still increasing. In fact, the average cost has steadily risen from about INR 7,700 in 2015 to about INR 10,000 in 2017.

Correlation between the amount of time people use their handsets: There is a strong correlation between the amount of time people use their handsets and the evolution of the usage. Half of India’s entry-level users are between 15 and 24 years old, mostly students, and can be assumed to be data-hungry, though less affluent than premium handset owners. Among premium handset users, 60% are over 24 years old, primarily working professionals or self-employed. These users are usually affluent and data-hungry.

Data Consumption: The appetite for data consumption has risen over the last 15 to 18 months. Today’s users in India, are consuming 1GB of data a day on their smartphones; a huge leap from the erstwhile average of 4GB a month.

Time spent on smartphone: Chat, video-streaming, browsers, social networking and image apps are the most engaging and account for more than 50% of the total time spent on smartphones.

App engagement: The highest engagement occurs on apps that consume a lot of data, like Facebook, WhatsApp Messenger, Instagram and Google Chrome on the Smartphones priced over INR 15,000.

Gap between users of the premium segment versus entry-level users: The gap between users of the premium segment versus entry-level users is as high as ~60 minutes on overall time spent per day.

Full report can be accessed here.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Ashish Agarwal:, Mobile- +91 9833013451