The already swelling Internet user base in India could increase even more due to mobile phones, according to a McKinsey report. It says that the digital content consumption in India may go up to worth $9.5 billion by 2015.
Currently, only 7 per cent Indian population has access to the Internet, whereas 32 per cent users in China and 77 per cent in USA have access to the Internet.
Contrary to popular perception, the Indian users are great consumers of offline digital content. On an average, they consume about 4.5 hours of digital content every day and McKinsey forecasts all this is going to change. With the ever decreasing cost of handsets and increasing ease of network access, consuming digital content will become easier than ever.
“The average price of smartphones that deliver much richer content, including video, is falling rapidly—already nearing $125, significantly less than the cost of PCs. Mobile devices also are inherently easier to operate than PCs, and the ability to access websites with a single touch or a voice command (critical given India’s high illiteracy rate) is becoming a reality,” the McKinsey report said.
It further added, “Finally, Indian operators are starting to offer innovative rate plans for mobile data use, addressing criticisms of the prices of data plans and their perceived opaqueness. Cheaper, easier access for all is on the cards.”
The report also says that more local language content would be required in the future, which should be easily and simply accessible, so the illiteracy of some of the users may be overcome. For example, voice content or apps that require single touch access may be very easy to use for those users who have not been exposed to the Internet before, and hence would be easier to sell as well.
The report also gives some credit to the government, especially for the unique identification number project which may ultimately become associated with their mobile devices as well. Once this happens, mobile banking and health care services would also be easily provided to the users through the handsets.