Android dominates Indiaâ€™s OS landscape. (Photo Credit: News Nation)
For a mobile-first and price-conscious country like India, quality is king. It’s no surprise that the mobile operating system (OS) landscape in the country has been dominated by Android since 2014, when it grabbed an estimated 45 percent market share.
Android devices primary medium for gaming
The latest ENV Media research, titled “Which mobile devices do Indian online gamblers use most,” pointed out how Android-based devices are popular among the online casino players in India for several reasons: they’re cheaper, the OS is open and the mobile hardware is manufactured locally and with tech support available in the country, among others.
Overall, Android is enjoying a 74.65 percent share of the entire OS landscape in India, including desktop and tablet devices; followed by Windows with 16.17 percent. iOS and OS X combined has 3.6 percent market share, while KaiOS has 0.76 percent and “Unknown” OS has 3.91 percent.
The ENV Media report, which is based on proprietary data and analytic feedback from its properties including Indian affiliate SevenJackpots, estimated that “around half of smartphone all smartphone users in India play mobile games,” and Android devices are “the primary medium” not just for online and offline gaming, but also for work and distance learning, as well as for social interactions and causal entertainment. In fact, India’s smartphone market is dominated by Chinese-origin brands that are powered by Android—with Xiaomi topping the list of preferred devices by online gaming players in the country who are fond of playing casino entertainment games at websites like 10cric.com, according to the ENV Media research.
“Xiaomi leads ahead of Samsung, with Vivo a little further behind. Oppo and Realme gravitate around the 10% market share, still a solid performance. OnePlus confirms its status—sought, most likely—as a premium smartphone brand, rivaling Apple in the segment,” the report noted. As of December 2020, Android holds a 95.23 percent share of India’s mobile OS landscape, according to data from Statista. iOS lagged in distant second with 3.2 percent share of all domestic smartphone OS.
“Android devices have the distinction of being affordable and ubiquitous,” ENV Media analysts noted. “While gaming is a social pastime, RMG (real money gaming) forms and the evolution of monetization take the industry to another level—more directly and beyond advertising dependence.”
Jio Platforms, Google unveil budget JioPhone Next
Although Chinese-origin devices and brands have been dominating the local scene, Indian smartphone makers have been ramping up manufacturing to meet the growing demands of India’s market. Consumers in India—and around the world—are spending more time on their mobile devices; according to government figures, out of the 760 million Internet users in the country, an estimated 365 million online players use their mobile phones to get in touch with their games.
Indian telecom operator Jio Platforms and Internet giant Google recently unveiled the JioPhone Next—an affordable smartphone “powered by extremely optimized Android” mobile OS. Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, described the upcoming device as an “ultra-affordable 4G smartphone,” although its price and hardware specifications are yet to be revealed. The smartphone is scheduled to be launched on Ganesh Chaturthi, September 10.
“India still has nearly 300 million mobile users who are unable to escape from inefficient and exorbitant 2G services… because even a basic 4G smartphone remains unaffordable to these,” Ambani said, promising that JioPhone Next will be “the most affordable smartphone not just in India, but globally.”
Other homegrown brands are also eyeing a comeback. Micromax, which has rolled out a couple of new devices including IN 1, is reportedly “gearing up to launch new products into the market soon.”