Indians spent 4.7 hours a day on their phones in 2021, finds App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022 Report


According to a report by mobile app analytics platform App Annie, smartphone users in India spent an average of 4.7 hours a day using their devices in 2021. Average daily smartphone usage has increased for the third straight year, showing a growing dependency on smartphones amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. India was the second largest mobile market among the top 20 mobile markets this year with almost 27 billion downloads in 2021. Financial apps have also been popular in India, with over 1 billion downloads in the past year.

According to the State of Mobile 2022 report by mobile app analytics service App Annie, smartphone owners in India used their devices an average of 4.7 hours per day in 2021, up from 4.5 hours in 2020 and 3.7 hours in 2019 However, Indian smartphone users spent fewer hours on the phone than their counterparts in Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea and Korea, where average daily smartphone use was five (or more) hours in 2021. Mexico was also ahead of India with an average of 4.8 hours per day. According to the report, mobile-first markets spent a third of their waking hours on their smartphones.

Users in Brazil, Indonesia and South Korea spent more than 5 hours a day in apps in 2021
Photo Credit: Screenshot/App Annie

Smartphone users in most countries saw an increase in the total hours they spent watching video streaming apps in 2021, with the notable exceptions of India and China, which saw falls of -8 percent and -46 percent, respectively compared to 2019. In terms of downloaded applications, India was the second highest country with nearly 27 billion app downloads (out of 230 billion global downloads) in 2021, according to the report Rs. 12,60,461 crore) estimated. Finance apps, job search apps like Apna, and grocery delivery apps all saw an increase in users in India, according to the report.

The report also reveals that the most searched keywords in the iOS App Store in India were “Whatsapp+”, followed by “Zoom” and “Google Meet”. Many iPhone users in India also searched “WhatsApp Business” and “Call Recorder for iPhone Free” in 2021. Financial app downloads in India surpassed the 1 billion download mark, bringing global financial app downloads to 5.9 billion in 2021. India’s WazirX saw the highest increase in sessions per user in 2021 in comparison year-over-year, which the report says is becoming close competition with US-based app publishers.

Food and beverage delivery apps also rebounded in India in the fourth quarter of 2021 to 12.1 billion user sessions after a dip in the second quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and related logistics issues, according to the report. The government’s Aarogya Setu app surpassed 100 million downloads but has seen declining open rates year after year. Travel apps also saw a surge in downloads in 2021, with India seeing a 5 percent increase. Global travel app downloads hit 1.95 billion downloads in the second half of 2021 — close to the pre-pandemic level of 2.08 billion.

While consumer spending on dating apps has increased in countries like Germany, Indonesia and Japan, Indian users spent less on dating apps in 2021, up 18 percent since 2018, the report found. However, the report states that while spending on these apps may be low in India, over 75 percent of users have started going on “hobby” dates. Global spending on dating apps topped US$4 billion (around Rs.29,659 billion) in 2021, a 95 percent increase since 2018, according to the report.

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