Smartphone growth and LBS opportunities in India


Mobile Local Search is experiencing unprecedented growth in India and is poised for increased adoption in the years to come.

MobileLocalSearchSocial Local Mobile
Globally, there 6B mobile subscribers. 1B out of which are smartphone users. We are seeing a proliferation of mobile apps. 80B apps were downloaded in year 2011. GPS is standard (97%). This is Fuelling demand for LBS technology and application. It is bringing about  a paradigm shift. There is a greater demand than ever for serving relevant info based on location, be it biz listing, restaurants, reviews, events and what not. We are using mobile to shop, not just search for listings. 3 utmost important things with regard to LBS (Location Based Services) are performance, privacy and relevance.

  1. What performance means is to provide intuitive, fluid, and quick experience. Speed (3G, 4G) is increasing for mobile internet. 45% population is covered by 3G network. 150 countries have 3G adoption. Wifi is another ways of connecting. These high speeds enable dynamic and rich content to be delivered to mobiles. Still there are substantial users on Edge or 2G.
  2. Privacy – A user must be cognizant that they share location and what they want in return. There are operators, who misuse client’s location by flooding them with spam. An LBS needs to be very transparent with how they are using client data.
  3. Relevancy – Accurate. Evolve, constantly navigate. Easy to navigate on smartphone device. minimize time and cost. Contextual relevance – time of day. Search queries. Time of day, day of week, holiday. LBS now needs to go specific. Instead of just searching for restaurants, a user could be searching for pizza place. Getting recommendation for diff venue.

Poynt Overview

Poynt started in June 2008 as a Blackberry app in North America. It has rich listing and actions – Reserve a table, add to calendar, saving on smartphone for future reference. Local theatre, watch trailer. Actionable search experience. It continues to evolve based on billions of interactions. It is pushing itself into Ad publishing space. It is present in 9 countries with India being latest launch. It has following ways of doing location detection – wifi hotspots, cell tower, triangulation, are used first while activating GPS.
China is going to be their next geography. Cost and effort to enter new market can be taxing. Carrier, OEM, users, marketing, monetization need to be put in place, so Poynt has been using a partner to enter a new geography. In India, it found right partner in Timescity. It established relationship with OEMs like Blackberry, Samsung, Nokia, Apple. It brought global experiences and learning during launch in EU, adoption to the table. India is culturally different. Gave a leg up on competition. Globally, Poynt has 15M users, 70% of which come from North America. India is also doing significant growth rate. User retention (> 80%) in India is standing out. Nokia Lumia 700-800 devices have it preloaded in India. 85% users come from such preloaded phones. Average retention of rest of geographies is 60-70%. with the result that other OEMs are showing  interest. Samsung will pre-load timesPoynt soon.

Smartphone Market in India

Currently there are 20M smartphones in India and growing at 100% rate. In first quarter of 2012, 2.5 M smartphones were sold out of a total 50.2 M. 6M smartphones were shipped in 2010. That figure grew to 12M in 2011. Mobile internet has a high uptake in emerging market like India. According to Google MD, Rajan Anandan, 40% of Google search queries in India come from mobile, which is higher than US (14%), UK (6%) and Russia(11%).
Usage Pattern:

Behavior of 15-24 will not change, so when they hit 31+, internet use will become higher for that age group as well in 5-8 years. Source of data – Industry sources and reports. Newspaper articles.
Network capabilities, smartphone adoption, relationship with OEM’s are current barriers to quicker uptake of LBS apps.

iPhone Apps Stats For India

  1. A total of 103.29 Million iPhone apps were downloaded in India.
  2. 12.92 million iPhone app downloads in India in August 2011.
  3. Of the 12.92 million, 11.74mn were Free Apps and 1.18 million were paid.
  4. 20,493 new iPhone apps in India in August 2011.
  5. Downloads of iPhone apps with in-app purchase in India in August 2011 stood at 4.23M (32.77% of all downloads).

LBS app showcase: timesPoynt

Best of breed Data needs to meets LBS technology for the growth of LBS app. Restaurants, nightclubs, bars, events, movies and more categories need to be served. More content to make it useful to users. As a brand advertiser, how do you get involved? Banner. Dynamic and rich is challenging on 2G/Edge. Getting eyeballs, adoption is first priority. monetization will come later. What do you see it going in 1 year? Android platform growth has been phenomenal. We have barely scratched surface. Poynt is device-agnostic. So, it sees device differences in different geographies. Their main competitors are Google generic search among others. Actionable, transactionable and Hyperlocal search is the new frontier. Sometimes, demographic assumption can be made on the basis of phone. Blackberry vs iPhone user. Jaguar case study. Blackberry is communication device, not video. While iPhone is also a good video consumption device. Keeping these in mind can help to get high CTR and ROI.

About prasoonk

Prasoon Kumar grew up in the Bokaro Steel City of south Bihar, now Jharkhand. He studied Computer Science and Engineering in IIT Kanpur. For job he moved to the land of opportunity, United States. He was there in the bay area through the internet revolution of mid to late nineties. He spent time admiring the beautiful coastline of California among other things. He moved east coast to the New York after the turn of the millennium working in a brokerage startup. Afterwards, he is back to India for good. He has been working in the enterprises and internet startup, enjoying the city life. He has a beautiful wife, a young 5 years old daughter and 11 years old son.

Posted on April 11, 2012, in Economy & Business, India, mobile, Technology, Web, web 2.0 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

Comments - bouquets, brickbats?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s