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App downloads in India likely to cross 9 billion by 2015: ASSOCHAM
The number of app downloads in India is expected to grow from 1.56 billion per annum in 2012 to 9 billion by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 75%, between the age of 16-30, according to an ASSOCHAM-Deloitte joint study.

In a joint study undertaken by ASSOCHAM and Deloitte a study titled 'Digitization & Mobility,' it has been observed that the paradigm shift was brought by social media campaign during the last elections, where 29 million people made 227 million interactions regarding elections on Facebook and about 60 million tweets from the day elections were announced to the day polling ended.

Creating appropriate apps and local language content for each market, marketing of it, user education & awareness, promotions, etc. could generate greater opportunities for telecom and M&E industry.

The consumer shift towards mobility devices and applications from fixed products and services provides technology providers, equipment manufacturers, content providers and marketers an opportunity to accelerate the development of mobile solutions (extensions of fixed). The move to mobile devices and cloud services present technology providers with new opportunities to create a closer relationship with customers and increase customer loyalty.

Mobile gaming continues to gain momentum, as is evident from the ongoing interest of gaming companies in this market. The current size of mobile gaming segment is 5.6 billion. Few International gaming products such as Angry birds (Rovio), Candy Crush (King), Clash of Clans (Super cell) are extremely popular in the Indian gaming market. Popular social messaging apps, such as Line, offer games on their platforms, which has helped to build the messaging app into a social gaming network and to monetize the app.

Apple offers community-based experience with applications such as Game Center, which is accessible on iPhones and iPads. Similarly, Windows smartphones have Xbox Live.

Releasing the study here, the chamber Secretary General D S Rawat said, Mobile TV has matured in terms of streaming technology, and user adoption is evident from the increase in video traffic. Mobile TV registered a 400% growth rate in viewership for the country's largest telecom companies as more Indians watched TV on the go.

YouTube, the most popular video app is accessed by 35% of smartphone users who spend almost 1.5 hours a month on it. Apple's iTunes platform to pay for downloading music continues to dominate globally both units sold and revenue contributions to the industry.

The share of video in internet data traffic is expected to rise from about 41% in FY2012, to 64% in FY2017. The growing adoption of mobility devices is prompting pay-TV and Internet TV (or Cloud TV) providers to offer a wider choice of content via smartphones, tablets, phablets, etc. Internet TV providers such as BigFlix, Dish TV offer mobile apps (DishOnline) to access their Internet TV services as part of a multiscreen strategy. Pay-TV providers are beginning to offer apps for streaming TV (live or time-shifted) in or out of the home.

Most smartphones are shipped with preloaded apps to connect to IM services and social networks. A variety of mobile apps are available in app stores: Apple's devices are equipped with iMessage, BlackBerry devices with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and Windows Phone devices with a Windows Live client. Android devices have a range of messenger apps options including WhatsApp and SnapChat.

Enterprise social networks, such as Yammer, Salesforce Chatter, are used as real-time collaboration tools to support the distributed workforce. In addition to publicly available services, enterprises increasingly deploy corporate IM and presence on smartphones, e.g. Microsoft Lync through mobile communicator clients.

Megaplayers in the Internet space launched different initiatives to enable social networking experiences on mobile devices e.g. Google with Google+, Skype with its mobile client on many devices, Facebook & Twitter Apps.

However, the devise compatibility, price points and bandwidth issues remain the biggest challenge. The 3G enabled mobile penetration in India is very limited and 4G is rolled out in few cities in India. Video streaming require continuous power, and cannot benefit from all of the types of optimizations that are used to reduce power consumption for data and voice services.

Currently, the available memory capabilities do not support large buffering requirements for long hours of mobile TV viewing. Significantly more processor performance is required for mobile TV than that used by applications such browsers and messaging. Providing the optimal user experience across different screens (different size and resolution) is another challenge.

With India being a price sensitive society, the people are still reluctant to pay for mobile games and downloading large file-sized games/apps despite of cheap gaming rates and mobile Internet plans. Monetization is thus a big issue for both the local and global mobile game developers entering the Indian market.

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