NEW DELHI: Marketers will need to adapt their digital strategies in India, reflecting the needs of the country's sizeable "mobile-only internet generation".

Software specialist Opera and On Device Research surveyed a panel of consumers who used the web via feature phones, smartphones, PCs or through other connected gadgets.

It found wireless handsets constituted the sole online access point for 41% of interviewees, described as the "mobile-only internet generation", and 49% "infrequently" or "rarely" used a computer for this purpose.

Elsewhere, 40% of the sample believed the mobile web offered a convenient means of obtaining information when away from a computer, and 39% stated it was cheaper than using a PC.

Another 32% agreed this channel provided a more straight-forward usage experience than was the case with a desktop.

Respondents in the 18-24 year old demographic contribute 59% of the overall audience, declining to 18% among their 25-34 year old counterparts, and 16% for 13-17 year olds.

Men make up 95.2% of the current user base, compared with just 4.8% for women.

"In many countries social networking has been the catalyst for the mobile internet boom," the study added, and India appears to be no exception.

Approximately 56% of mobile netizens utilise social networks such as Orkut and Facebook, 58% enter enquiries on search engines, and 51% send and receive email.

Opera's "Mini" browser boasts 90m users worldwide at present, with Indonesia, Russia and India the organisation's top three markets in terms of uptake.

The number of unique users in India rose by 267.3% during the 12 months to January 2011, measured against a 59% lift in China.

Page views from these two nations jumped by 372% and 54% respectively in this period, indicating greater engagement on the part of India's consumers.

Previous research by Opera demonstrated 90% of the Indian mobile media population surf the net at home, but only 31% did so while on the move.

Data sourced from Opera; additional content by Warc staff