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Faster web, applications drive smartphone purchases

About 43% people say better Internet access is the main reason for buying a smartphone

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Faster Internet accessibility and ability to use more applications are the main reasons that drive people to buy smartphones, a report by Ericsson Consumerlab said.

"Among today's users in high growth markets, adoption is driven by application functionality and a faster Internet experience," the Ericsson ConsumerLab's Emerging App Culture report said.

About 43% people say better Internet access is the main reason for buying a smartphone while 33% prefer to buy these devices to access more applications, the report said.

The research was carried out among smartphone users in the 15-54 year age group, who accessed Internet at least once a week, in India, Russia and Brazil.

"The app culture emerging in these high-growth markets reflects a trend similar to that in the US... we see a general evolution toward new users purchasing increasingly specialised apps, such as those for dating services and price comparison, from the moment they get their smartphones," Ericsson ConsumerLab Senior Specialist Jasmeet Singh Sethi said.

People mostly use their smartphones to check in to locations, use maps for navigation, watch Internet TV, movies, live news, play online games, among others, the study showed.

A majority owners are first-time users who purchased their smartphone during the past six months, it added.

However, mobile applications (apps) are used differently across the three markets.

"The Indian smartphone users are more interested in downloading personalisation applications, such as screen savers, live wallpapers and third party browsers apart from social media applications and games," it said.

Russians use their phones for navigation and maps, shopping comparisons, barcode scanners, translators, dictionaries while the Brazilians used applications to enhance their social interactions, the report said.

The study said users have few applications on their phones but they use them frequently.

"While 69% say they access Internet using applications daily, almost half do not use more than one to five applications on a weekly basis," the study said.

When it comes to the daily application usage, 49% people say they use it for social networking, 39% for chat, 31% for weather forecasts, 26% for news, 20% for maps, GPS and navigation and 12% for timetables and traffic.

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