That smartphones are fast gaining the status of ‘lifelines’ would not be an overstatement. At least that’s what a recent survey seems to have found out. The facts and figures revealed in the survey by online travel company Expedia signal high dependency of new-age Indians on smartphones.
As many as 95 per cent Indian respondents feel that their smartphone is very or of critical importance to their daily lives. The survey, which was conducted online from August 25 to September 17 across 25 countries from North America, Europe, South America and Asia Pacific, covered 8,856 employed adults aged 18 years and above.
Commenting on the highlights of the survey, Vikram Malhi, MD, Asia, Expedia, said: “We decided to conduct this survey to understand the booking behaviour of the neo-Indian traveller. The findings clearly suggest an increasing dependency on the mobile platform. Indians lead in app booking and data roaming plans globally. In fact, 75 per cent of the Indians — the figure is the highest among all the countries surveyed — are those who have used an app on their smartphone or tablet to book accommodation.” He added that 68 per cent of the Indians admitted that they purchased an international data or roaming plan for their mobile device(s) while travelling away from their home network.
The survey also reveals that with the rise of smartphones, the desktop is becoming an obsolete instrument — with only 28 per cent of the Indians using it for travel booking — second lowest globally.
As far as Pune figures are concerned, the survey offers some interesting data. As many as 44 per cent of the Puneites among the Indian surveyed confessed to using smartphones most frequently at home. Interestingly, the figure is the highest as compared to other big Indian cities — Delhi (35 per cent), Mumbai (29 per cent), Bangalore (37 per cent) and Hyderabad (36 per cent).
The survey says Puneites have the highest tendency of buying gadgets like smartphones (90 per cent) and laptops (91 per cent) when they are on leisure travel. They lead the segment across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. It also reveals that at 48 per cent, Puneites are the highest users of gaming, music, movie and TV show apps while travelling. “It clearly emphasises on the trend of Puneites moving on to a more connected experience while travelling,” said Malhi.
About 39 per cent of the Puneites (the figure is again highest compared to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad) associate the anxiety of losing mobile with the feeling that “all my apps, music and social networks are on my device”. As many as 59 per cent of the smartphone owners in Pune feel “insecure”, “isolated” and “shipwrecked” when they lose a mobile device. This figure too is highest among the cities surveyed — Delhi (40 per cent), Mumbai (41 per cent), Bangalore (37 per cent) and Hyderabad (43 per cent).
Though considered a wrong etiquette, 55 per cent of the Pune respondents confessed to making phone calls while dining at a restaurant or a cafe. The percentage of other four cities is much lower — Delhi (40), Mumbai (42), Bangalore (39) and Hyderabad (46).
City-based IT professional Pulkit Mathur is someone who can completely relate with the survey data. “I will not be exaggerating when I say my life runs on my mobile phone. Except when I am sleeping, I am constantly on the phone — checking mails, photos, chatting, browsing and so on. I have noticed that there are times when I am actually not doing anything productive on the phone but still aimlessly checking my phone,” he said.