How the use of Indian languages will boost the growth of mobile device use?

Co-founder-Reverie-Language-Technologies-Vivekanand-PaniBrimming with untapped potential, the Indian mobile phone market, is sure a business sweet-spot. The total number of mobile phone users in India is expected to reach 730 million, of which a 340 million is accounted to smart phone adopters, in 2017. In fact, buoyed by the growth of mobile phone users in India and China, the global figures are expected to rise up to 5.5 billion by 2022, which will be equivalent to 70% mobile penetration. This number is almost double of what existed in 2008.

Now let us look at another parameter – global mobile app usage, which in 2016 clocked a whopping 1 trillion hours. India ranks fifth on the charts; a commendable position, yet not enough, given the numbers we discussed earlier. Let us see why – out of a total population of 1.3 billion, close to 50% is endowed with mobile capability, of which 45% own smartphones. So given the fact that India has the second largest population after China, it’s disheartening that our app usage is fifth in line, surpassed by smaller population markets like South Korea and Japan.

The reason for this digital disenfranchisement is two-fold. First, and perhaps the more widely acknowledged reason, is financial. However, service providers like Reliance Jio are gradually countering this with the fall in prices due to ever-growing economies of scale, and disruptive pricing maneuvers. Going ahead the financial angle looks promising, and it is expected to continue on its upward trajectory.

The second issue, which usually gets lost in all the white noise, is language. While a much larger percent of linguistic interface of mobile devices is in English, only a mere 10% of Indians actually know English. This means, around 600 million Indians are struggling with proper mobile usage, due to their inability to decipher the English language! The problem becomes even direr for smartphones because compared to feature phones, the linguistic surface-area-of-contact in smartphones is much higher.

This hypothesis, linking language with digital usage, is not without basis. To quote Satya Raghavan, Head of Entertainment, YouTube India, “Apart from Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam are seeing massive growth in watch time, with other languages including Haryanvi, Marathi, Bengali and others following closely behind”. The top 10 regional Indian YouTube channels have 3 lakh to 8 lakh subscribers each. These are all staggering figures. A Haryanvi channel called Nazar Battu Productions has a subscriber base of more than six lakh and monthly advertisement revenues ranging from $3,000 to $4,000. This proves it that if Haryanvi language, whose academically accepted status is a dialect of Hindi has such an impact, then we are definitely right in our assessment.

Hence, the question is – how do we bridge this linguistic gorge? The answer quite obviously is linguistic localization and Reverie helps you exactly to achieve that. We have solutions for both feature phones and smart phones. These range from the most basic device features like ‘Indian language phonebook’ , an ‘Indian language keypad – Swalekh’, to ‘Indian-language-based device-lock’ and more. Reverie’s aesthetically designed fonts impart both effectiveness and convenience to these device features. All of these make Reverie a one-stop-shop for enabling language equality on the internet.

Authored by:- Mr. Vivekanand Pani, Co-founder Reverie Language Technologies

(The views expressed in this article are by Vivekanand Pani. Technuter.com doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)

@Technuter.com News Service

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