gsma: Smartphone ownership growth, mobile internet usage stagnates in 2021: GSMA | Techy Kings


Growth in female smartphone ownership and mobile internet usage in India stalled in 2021, after steady growth the previous year, although male numbers have seen steady growth since 2019, according to a GSMA report.

India has 14 percent. mobile phone gender gap, but a staggering 41 percent the gap in mobile internet usage is narrowest only after Bangladesh, according to the GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report.

Female smartphone ownership increased slightly from 25% in 2020. to 26% in 2021, and mobile internet usage in 2021 30% remained, the report said.

At the same time, male smartphone ownership has increased from 41% in 2020. to 49% in 2021, and mobile internet usage increased from 45% in 2020. to 51% in 2021

Phone cost was the main barrier to mobile phone ownership for both sexes in India, but literacy and mobile literacy remained the main barriers for women. 14% of female mobile users also felt that data costs were unaffordable.

The report found that due to the proliferation of smartphones with advanced features, men and women in India are using them in a wider variety of ways than in other countries. Smartphones address affordability issues and could be a step towards normalizing smartphone usage for women. These devices also include voice commands to address low literacy issues, the report said.

The GSMA said that in 2020-2021 In India, there has been a significant increase in mobile internet usage among Indian women due to changing market dynamics that have made the internet more accessible. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, more women have also gone online, helping to narrow the gender gap.

“Despite a sharp increase in mobile internet use during the early stages of COVID-19, women’s mobile internet use appears to have declined much more than men’s as the pandemic progressed and livelihoods were hit,” the report said. .

The number of female mobile phone owners in India also follows a similar trajectory. Use cases ranging from video calling to education to monetization have grown significantly from 3.2 use cases per week in 2019. to 4.9 in 2020 and then in 2021

According to the report, the number of women using phones for video calling jumped from 16% in 2019. to 34% in 2020 in 2021 this rate remained unchanged, while male use continued to increase.

The report also identified two broad socio-demographic groups that experience the dynamics of mobile usage differently, with wealthier women who adopted smartphones and mobile internet in the last two years seeing improvements in income levels and digital skills, while less affluent and less educated women . levels found they are still excluded from digital opportunity, with limited job prospects, access to government services, income and the ability to save for high-end smartphone models.


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