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Indians spent one-third of waking hours on their phones in 2021

The State of Mobile 2022 report by reveals Indians spent an uprecedented amount of time on their mobiles last year

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Mobile nation (Pexels)

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The State of Mobile 2022 report from, a global digital trends research organisation, reveals that Indians spent over 4.7 hours per day on mobile apps in 2021 on average — up 27% from 2019 — representing around one-third of an average human being's daily waking hours. 

India is 5th in the global ranking of countries where citizens spent the maximum amount of time on smartphones, with Brazil leading the pack at 5.4 hours per day of mobile phone usage, followed by Indonesia, South Korea and Mexico. In every country, the numbers are significantly higher than 2019 and 2020, indicating that the pandemic might have increased mobile phone usage globally. 

The report also reveals that there were 26.7 billion app downloads in India in 2021, with $417 million spent by consumers on apps and games and a total of 700 billion hours spent on mobile. Interestingly, 7 out of every 10 minutes on mobile was spent on social and photo and video apps like Josh and MX Takatak by Indians in 2021. While these apps have seen an increase in the share of overall time spent, this has largely not been at the expense of current habits. Rather, consumers have turned historically 'non-mobile' time into time spent in apps and games, the report says.

‘Social and communication’ led the category of apps that Indians spent the maximum amount of time on, followed by photo and video, games, and entertainment. 

in India, the top two apps by number of downloads in 2021 were Instagram and MX Takatak, indicating a rush to fill the void left by the banning of TikTok in the country in January 2021. Facebook, Snapchat and social buying app Meesho were the next top apps by downloads, with Moj and Josh, two relatively new short video apps like TikTok, also coming in in the top 10. 

WhatsApp and Facebook continued to lead the top apps by monthly active users in India, followed by TrueCaller, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Amazon and Flipkart were no. 6 and 8 respectively by monthly active users.      



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