India is going through a mobile revolution with smartphones now outnumbering PCs and desktops and is set to reach 314 million mobile Internet users by 2017. Startups and established players are taking note and many are either focusing more resources on their mobile apps or even going mobile-app only. With the availability of low-cost smartphone devices and rise in purchasing power, a report by Quettra found that the average smartphone in India is only 10 months old.

Vserv recently released a report titled ‘Smartphone User Persona Report (SUPR) 2015’. Founded in 2010, Vserv is a smart data platform for mobile marketing and commerce backed by Maverick Capital, IDG Ventures India and Epiphany Ventures.

According to the report, the Indian smartphone user base is growing at a 26% CAGR from 2013 to 2017. This boom in the Indian smartphone market is primarily being propelled by Indians under the age of 25 years, with the report highlighting that 63% users fall in that age bracket. Pranab Punj, AVP, Global Marketing, Vserv, said “Today, it is imperative for marketers to move beyond demographic data and embrace smart data based targeting to stay ahead in the game. Marketers need to formulate their strategies focused on user personas and their intent.”

The report findings are based on a study conducted by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights. The study was based on an automated usage data collection from over 12,000 smartphone users in India, over a three month period. It was conducted using smartphone metering technology installed by opt-in panelists on their smartphones. From the two-step cluster analysis, with 22 smartphone usage parameters as input variables, six smartphone user personas emerged.

As per the study, smartphone users spend on average of 169 minutes per day on their device. Six smartphone user personas which emerged are — App Junkies, Social Stars, Conversationalists, Entertainment Buffs, Utilitarians and Dabblers. App Junkies can be considered to be early adopters. The report found that they constitute about 25% of the total smartphone users, consume the most data and download 18.5 mobile apps and games every month.

Social Stars, who account for about 20% of the smartphone users, spend over two hours a day using chat and social networking apps. Conversationalists account for 16% and mainly use their smartphones for making calls, with minimal app usage. Entertainment buffs, who spend almost an hour each day playing games, listening to music or watching videos on their smartphones account for about 15% of the userbase.

Utilitarians, mainly focus on utility-driven app usage, along with apps for voice calls and messaging account for 15%. Dabblers account for 10% and are infrequent smartphone users. The report provides insights into each persona’s app usage, time spent on various apps, data consumption patterns, and their demographics.

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