India – The Android First Nation
This is a guest post by Sitakanta Ray
In my earlier post, I had discussed about the higher preference for iOS among international developers and that developers were more or less unsatisfied with the Android marketplace when it came to revenues.
However, is the case similar in India where the Android phones outnumber other operating systems?
I decided to investigate the following using popular apps from Utility, Banking, Retailing Entertainment and News organizations from India. Here are my findings.
From the table above, we can make the following conclusions about the app-scene across platforms.
Clearly, Indian Service industry is more enamored by Android than other platforms. Surprisingly among Indian utility service providers, BlackBerry seems to be preferred platform than iOS or Windows.
Interestingly enough, only the matrimonial sites have bothered to go across platforms for their apps, while most Public utility services have ignored all platforms other than Android. Perhaps this is a reflection of the higher Android penetration among the “common man”. With the lower priced Samsung Galaxy Pocket, all set to be released in India, the dominance of Android is all set to go up only.
News apps are some of the most popular apps used by the average Indian. In fact, this can be further validated by the massive number of News channel apps available on Google Play store. From mainstream English News channels such as NDTV, CNN-IBN, CNN and BBC to mainstream newspapers like Times of India, Indian Express, and Hindustan Times, all are well represented. There are even apps for vernacular newspapers such as Malayala Manorama, Madhyamam, Dainik Jagran, Dinakaran etc.
News apps are fairly well represented in the iOS Marketplace too, with as much as 14 out of 25 newspapers and news websites having an iOS app. The number is far less in Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS. News channels and papers identify the need to have an Android app and an iOS app, but have so far ignored the Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.
Newspapers have made conscious effort to be available at least in one other platform than Android, with the national Dailies going across platforms. Television channels however have embraced all platforms, possibly because of the sheer diversity in their viewer profiles. The national/ vernacular television channels such as Aaj Tak, India News however have ignored all Platforms except Android.
E-commerce companies have slightly lower presence when it comes to applications on smartphones. However, Android has higher presence than iOS and Windows with 7 websites. You can use the services of the top e-tailing companies Flipkart and LetsBuy for shopping or use the services of SnapDeal to get the best deals online.
E-tailing apps are expected to grow further with more players coming in the years to come. Indian ecommerce sites are grossly missing out in most other ecosystem, with only Ngpay and eBay being present with apps in all marketplaces. SnapDeal surprisingly has an app for the Windows Phone but not for the iOS. Clearly e-commerce sites favor the Android OS.
Google Play offers a plethora of options for the users in the entertainment section. Users can book tickets for their favourite movies, concerts, plays etc. through BookMyShow app or use the apps of individual cinema such as PVR Cinemas and INOX. The Saavn app lets you listen to the latest music hits. Zomato gives you great comprehensive reviews of restaurants. There are even great gaming websites such as Zapak Mobile and Ibibo Games to keep you entertained. CricketNext Live and ESPN CricInfo will provide you the latest scores for your favourite IPL team while you are busy working.
Most of the entertainment sites have a presence in iOS but are missing in Windows Phone and Blackberry platforms. Android still remains the top favourite in the entertainment section.
Entertainment apps have clearly focused on the iOS as much as Android, perhaps a reflection of the audience they typically cater to. However, Windows and BlackBerry have been almost entirely ignored irrespective of the type of entertainment business.
Most entertainment businesses have focused on both the Android and iOS equally. It isn’t surprising considering Apple users and premium Android customers are one of the biggest consumers of entertainment services like booking cinema-tickets etc. or getting the latest updates on Music, Movies or Games.
Banking and Financial Services
Google Play also features apps from almost all popular banks in India. Online Banking and transactions have already grown significantly and it seems more and more people are choosing to pay their bills or transfer money using their smartphones. From PSU banks such as State Bank of India to multinational banks such as Citibank and Standard Chartered, the banking space is well represented with apps for their customers. Indian Banks have heavily focused on Android and iOS as the main platforms. This is probably to woo HNIs to their bank stating availability of Android and iPhone Apps, the latter being the most preferred among the elite. MNCs have equally focused on both these platforms as well as BlackBerry to cater to the business segment. It seems Windows Phone is the only OS that’s been almost completely ignored by the Banking and Financial sector.
Android remains the top marketplace of choice for the Indian businesses and app developers. It caters to almost all the needs of a typical Indian and does it brilliantly. It is mainly because of the easier availability of apps via marketplace and plethora of budget Android devices in the Indian market. The growth of the Android marketplace (Google Play store now) along with the presence of cheaper smartphones will continue to propel the growth of Android in the year 2012 too.
About the Author:
Sitakanta is the co-founder of MySmartPrice.com. MySmartPrice helps you find the best price of anything sold online in India.