120% surge in smartphone usage for productivity in Tier-II+ cities during Covid-19: Survey – BusinessLine

There has been a whopping 120 per cent spike in work productivity on smartphones during Covid-19 in cities and towns beyond Tier I, according to the recently released Mobile Industry Consumer Insights (MICI) Survey, conducted by CyberMedia Research (CMR) in association with TECNO Mobile.

“The smartphone is a key daily driver for consumers living in cities and towns beyond Tier-I. We call this the Aspirational Bharat,” said Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR. “What the survey highlights is how smartphone usage is changing, during the 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 a larger screen size and much better battery life.”

Echoing this sentiment from TECNO’s perspective, Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, TRANSSION India said: “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.”

According to the survey, between March 25 and May 31, smartphone usage spiked by 50 per cent overall while productive usage of smartphones increased by over 100 per cent in ‘Aspirational Bharat.’

As per the report, 84 per cent utilised smartphones to access valuable information including government schemes, weather patterns, and market linkage information for farm produce, while 83 per cent of users utilise smartphones for online banking, shopping, and utility bill payment, among others.

Some users utilised smartphones during lockdowns to cultivate new skills and hobbies; 21 per cent users have learnt new skills while 18 per cent have taken up new hobbies on their phones, as per the survey.

Online education was another productive usage of phones. One in every three parents depend on their smartphone for facilitating their kid’s online education during the lockdown, it said.

Apart from work, gaming, audio and OTT consumption were the main usages for smartphones.

“Beyond work, consumers spent increased time on their phone for consuming content, including video OTT (70 per cent) and audio OTT (60 per cent), and gaming (62 per cent),” the report said.

As things began to return to the ‘new normal’ with relaxed restrictions from June, “two in every seven users (29 per cent) have faced some challenges while working from home. One in every seven users (15 per cent) faced difficulty in managing work-life balance as well as a productivity issue,” as per the report.

To cope with the new smartphone usages, consumers are looking towards features such as longer battery life and larger screens for their next smartphone purchase, it said.