Press Release

India on the Path to Become Mobile First Nation

~Affordable smartphones have enabled Indians everywhere to rise beyond their circumstances and overcome economic inequalities~

SEP 18, 2017 | MUMBAI | Qualcomm products mentioned within this press release are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

According to a recent study by Qualcomm and CyberMedia Research (CMR), since the independence of India, the mobile phone has emerged as the single most critical device that has enabled Indians to overcome geographic barriers and socio-economic status and to embrace new economic realities. 

A whole new generation of Indians, across all demographics, have emerged that have not used a desktop or a laptop, but rather have leapfrogged to the digital world by embracing mobile technologies, especially smartphones. While the feature phone has remained a communication tool, with limited functionalities for playing games and listening to music, the smartphone has emerged as an aspirational tool that replaces the functions of many other devices – whether it is a music player, a camera, or even a payment terminal.

“The smartphone market in India is growing at an exceptional pace and the opportunities therein are limitless. Adding impetus to the growth is affordability of data services, thus enabling Indians to gain access to many services including various schemes and services offered by the Government of India. The smartphone enables consumers in India to not just communicate, but rather to go online, and perform many key functions in their lives – whether it is learning new information, connecting to friends, making and accepting payments, navigating through traffic, accessing government services, finding and applying for jobs and many more,” said Larry Paulson, vice president and president of Qualcomm India.

“No other nation has embraced mobile phones the way India has. By connecting Indians to the internet, mobile phones have opened many new possibilities for them to perform key functions: whether it is communications or education, transportation or emergency situations, e-commerce or government interface,” said Apalak Ghosh, Head – Industry Consulting Group, CMR.

“An overwhelming majority of those surveyed, do not possess a desktop, laptop, or a tablet. For them, their smartphone is the primary, and only, platform to the digital world. While the survey findings indicate the myriad contexts in which mobile phones have enabled India, I believe the most encouraging and positive takeaway is the sense of personal security and independence gained by women,” said Prabhu Ram, Head – Innovation Advisory, CMR.

Here a few excerpts and the key findings of the study:

  • Rising Economic Freedom, and Gender Equality
    Indians have leveraged the power of the mobile phone to craft a better life for themselves. When one measures the progress of a developing India, the monumental role played by the mobile phone in uplifting a million human lives cannot be negated. The smartphone has contributed to


    • Personal security (76%),
    • Enhanced quality of life (66%),
    • Personal independence (63%),
    • Improvement in economic condition for the better (54%).

    For a nation that has always strived to build gender equality, the smartphone has played a critical role in enabling it. Amongst women, mobile phones contribute to

    • Personal independence (67%) and,
    • An enhanced sense of personal security (56%).
  • Access Enabled
    Smartphones are changing the way Indians interact and navigate the complex world they live in. The study findings indicate


    • 75% of Indian consumers have enhanced knowledge of the world
    • 63% are able to find information swiftly
  • Makes Life Fun
    The smartphone provides an escape from the mundane for Indians across economic barriers. 8 out of 10 Indians experience joy and fun through their mobile phone.


    • 86% access social media
    • 74% listen to music
    • 61% watch videos.
    • 59% play games.
  • A Constant Companion
    As per the study findings, a day in India starts and ends with the smartphone.


    • Within 30 minutes of waking up, 69% of Indians reach for their smartphone.
    • On an average, 40% of the consumers spend 2-6 hours of their time online.
    • The maximum usage is during working hours (42%) and at night (38%).
    • Moreover, 7 out of 10 Indians felt completely lost without their smartphone.
  • Participatory Democracy: Connect and Contribute
    Mobile phones are enabling citizens to come closer with the Government. At the community level, mobile phones are enabling closer linkages.


    • 63% share pictures, videos or commentary with others about events in the community.
    • 43% of Indian consumers access Government Services or Information
    • 29% report a problem in the neighborhood to the local authorities

Note for Editors:

CMR conducted a nationwide survey on behalf of Qualcomm, to map how Indians use the mobile phone and how it has shaped their life, and contributed to their independence.

The ‘India’s Independence Via Mobiles’ report is based on an online survey covering 3000 respondents, across Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities; and across demographics: teens, youth, working professionals, housewives and elderly.

About Qualcomm

Qualcomm's technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s websiteOnQ blogTwitter and Facebook pages.

About CMR

CMR offers industry intelligence, consulting and marketing services, including but not limited to market tracking, market sizing, stakeholder satisfaction, analytics and opportunity assessment studies.

Its bouquet of consulting services includes incubation advisory, go-to-market services, market mapping and scenario assessment services. CMR is servicing domestic as well as international clientele in India and few global destinations. The clientele serviced represents SMBs, Large Enterprises, Associations and Government. CMR’s core value proposition encompasses a rich portfolio of syndicated reports and custom research capabilities across multiple industries, markets and geographies.

A part of CyberMedia, South Asia’s largest specialty media and media services group, CyberMedia Research (CMR) has been a front-runner in market research, consulting and advisory services since 1986. CMR is an institutional member of Market Research Society of India (MRSI). For more information, please visit CMR’s website, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. For queries, please contact:

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