Aspirational Bharat sees 120% spike in work productivity on smartphones during COVID-19

A new Mobile Industry Consumer Insights (MICI) Survey, conducted by CyberMedia Research (CMR) in association with TECNO Mobile, has for the first time provided a comprehensive understanding of changing consumer behaviour and smartphone usage patterns in Aspirational Bharat. The CMR MICI survey revealed that consumers of Aspirational Bharat saw a 120% spike in smartphone usage for productivity compared to pre-COVID levels.

According to Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, “The smartphone is a key daily driver for consumers living in cities and towns beyond Tier I. We call this the Aspirational Bharat. What the survey highlights is how smartphone usage is changing, during lockdown and in the neo-normal, cutting across use cases, such as productivity, personal development, and leisure. In preparation for the neo normal, consumers in Aspirational Bharat are seeking smartphones that offer larger screen size and much better battery life.”

Echoing the sentiment from TECNO’s perspective, Mr. Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, TRANSSION India said, “As a leading smartphone company commanding substantial presence and market share in the Aspirational Bharat’, we have iterated the growing importance of telecommuting and productivity usage of smartphone in the wake of COVID-19. In Aspirational Bharat, where affordability and utility go hand in hand, smartphones have emerged as a primary medium of work, information and entertainment. The CMR MICI Survey reinforces the fact that TECNO has the sense of the pulse of its aspirational consumers. And with our SPARK series, which focuses on battery, display, and camera in sub-10K smartphone category is a testimony to TECNO’s deep commitment of introducing products with segment-first features at a disruptive price point where the consumer is more ready to experiment with the product. We are optimistic that our latest launches Spark 6 Air smartphone and TWS Minipod M1 will be well-received by the audience and enable our consumers to find a work-leisure balance in this Neo Normal.”

(A) COVID-19 and Impact on Smartphone Usage in Aspirational Bharat during lockdown

  • During COVID-19 Lockdown (March 25 – May 31), smartphone usage spiked by 50%, with smartphone usage for work surging by >100%.
  • Smartphone users in Aspirational Bharat depend on their smartphone to empower their professional and personal life.

o   84% of consumers depend on their smartphones, for instance, for accessing information on government schemes, weather patterns, and market linkage information for farm produce.

o   83% of consumers use their phones for content consumption including creating and consuming short-form videos, music and videos.

o   83% feel empowered, using their smartphones for online banking, shopping, and utility bill payment, among others.

  • Beyond work, consumers spent increased time on their phone for consuming content, including video OTT (70%) and audio OTT (60%), and gaming (62%).
  • Around three in every seven users in Aspirational Bharat have started some new activities and hobbies during the period of lockdown. For instance, 21% of the consumers have learnt new skills, 19% have listened to music, while 18% have taken up new hobbies on their phones.
  • One in every three parents depend on their smartphone for facilitating their kid’s online education during lockdown.

(B) Smartphone Usage in the Neo Normal (June onwards)

  • Two in every seven users (29%) have faced some challenge while working from home.  One in every seven users (15%) faced difficulty in managing work-life-balance as well as productivity issue.
  • The top three smartphone features that consumers have started relying more in the neo normal are Camera (61%), battery life (57%) and sound quality (51%).
  • Some consumers faced problems with their smartphones –  phone overheating (58%), limited screen size (47%) and swift battery drainage (46%) were the top three challenges.
  • When it comes to their next smartphone purchase, consumers are looking for smartphones that offer long battery life (54%) and large screen size (53%) for viewing to cope with neo normal.

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