Indian teens prefer mobiles to TV

25 May 2012

NEW DELHI: Less than 1% of young consumers in India rate TV as their favourite "gadget", lagging well behind mobile phones, laptops and tablets, research from Tata Consultancy Services shows.

The firm polled 12,300 students aged between 12 and 18 years old in 12 cities, and discovered many could be described as "instant connectors", and were thus highly engaged with new media.

It found, for example, that 79.5% of this audience owned a mobile phone, hitting 75% for a home PC, 59.2% for an MP3 player, 54.8% for a laptop and 30.6% for a games console.

When identifying their favourite gadgets, 27.8% of the panel picked mobile phones, versus 15% for laptops, as well as 14.4% with reference to MP3 players, and 13.9% for games machines.

Computers recorded 11.3% here, ahead of the 5.8% registered by tablets. Television received a modest 0.7%, and cameras generated 0.5%.

In assessing the communications methods they used most regularly, 58.6% cited voice calls, email posted 44.1%, text messages yielded 36.2%, instant messaging was on 33.3% and social networks scored 27.5%.

Within this, some 85.3% of respondents had signed up to Facebook, and India is thought to be one of the platform's top three global markets, along with the US and Brazil.

Another 43.1% were active on Orkut, as were 30% on Twitter. An additional 27.2% logged on to a slew of other sites like Apna Circle, Google+, Hi5 and iBibo. LinkedIn had an uptake of 6.1% here.

More broadly, 68.2% of the sample accessed the web from a PC, as did 49.4% via a laptop and 42% on a mobile phone. Tablets secured 13.8%, whereas just 0.7% of contributors do not use the net.

Another trend identified by the study was that the role of cyber cafés has declined rapidly, from a penetration of 46% in 2009 to 20% in 2011, the analysis revealed.

Three-quarters of students stated that undertaking research for school projects was their main reason to go online, followed by chatting and connecting with friends on 68% and listening to music on 50%.

"[The] combination of more bandwidth, availability of smart devices and the surging popularity of social networks is changing the way India's high school students conduct their academic and social lives," said N Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, said.

Data sourced from Tata Consultancy Services; additional content by Warc staff