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Mobile - February 20, 2024

Mobile connectivity in emerging economies: Boon or Bane?

Mobile connectivity in emerging economies: Boon or Bane? 1

India currently accounts for more than 10% of the worldwide cellphone market. However, smartphone possession rates are the lowest in India some of the 11 growing countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center.

Further, even the country has over 500 million internet users, almost half of Indian adults (47%) say they have a basic telephone that can’t connect with the internet, in line with country – precise findings drawn from the survey released on eight March.

India, in step with the survey, is also one among simplest international locations in which a majority of adults do now not use one of the seven social media platforms or messaging offerings–Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Viber, plus the courting app Tinder–blanketed within the survey that changed into performed amongst 28,122 adults in eleven economically emerging international locations from September 7 to December 7, 2018.

The survey revealed that the enormous majority of adults in these countries own, or have got admission to, a mobile telephone of a few types. And these cell phones aren’t truly primary gadgets with little extra than voice and texting potential: A median of 53% across those countries now have got admission to a phone capable of getting access to the internet and jogging apps. Further, “smartphones and social media have melded so thoroughly that for many they move hand-in-hand,” the survey notes.

Consider this. A median of 91% of phone users in these eleven nations additionally makes use of social media, at the same time as a mean of 81% of social media users say they personal or percentage a phone. Median possibilities are used to assist readers to see overall patterns. The median is the center quantity in a listing of figures taken care of in ascending or descending order.

Boon or bane?

A majority of people surveyed in those 11 developing international locations say cellular phones and social media have frequently been “appropriate for them personally, (however) relatively much less so for society”. A median of 70% of adults across these eleven nations say mobile phones were an on the whole good issue for society, but that percentage falls to 57% at the query of the effect of social media. In fact, a median of 27% thinks social media has been an on the whole terrible issue for society.

However, consistent with the Pew survey, Kenyans and Vietnamese stand out fairly for his or her extra high-quality perspectives on the societal impact of both mobile phones and social media. Conversely, incredibly huge stocks of Venezuelans view the societal effect of these technologies as a negative one, the survey referred to. Moreover, a majority of humans in Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia view this technology as having a terrible have an effect on fitness.

People in those eleven international locations, consistent with the Pew survey, say mobile telephones have helped them for my part and that the internet has had a terrific effect on education. However, simultaneously, “…The demanding situations that virtual lifestyles can pose for children are a particularly terrific supply of difficulty”. Some 79% of adults in these 11 countries say human beings have to be very worried about kids being uncovered to dangerous or immoral content material while the use of mobile telephones and a median of 63% say cell phones have had a horrific effect on youngsters of their country. According to the survey, these adults additionally expressed “mixed evaluations about the impact of extended connectivity on bodily fitness and morality”.

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Do we need a cellular smartphone?

Across the eleven nations surveyed, cellular telephone users fall into camps. Kenyans, South Africans, Jordanians, Tunisians and Lebanese who use a cell phone are more likely to say their smartphone is something they couldn’t stay without. But in the six other countries, larger shares say they don’t usually want their telephone. Further, adults elderly 50 and older are much more likely than the ones beneath 30 to view their telephone as a time saver, whilst younger adults are more likely to view it as a time waster–a courting that persists in maximum international locations even when accounting for age-related variations in phone use.

Utility cost and despite the fact that mobile telephone customers tend to peer their smartphone as something that frees them, the prevalence of those attitudes range by way of tool type. For instance, in most international locations, smartphone customers are much more likely than basic or function telephone users to mention their cellphone is something that ties them down as opposed to something that frees them, the Pew survey notes.


Public opinion across those 11 countries has diverged in current years when it comes to the internet’s impact on politics. Compared with surveys conducted in 2014, larger stocks of Mexicans, South Africans, Venezuelans, Kenyans, and Colombians now say the increasing use of the net has had a fantastic impact on politics, the survey notes. But Tunisians, Lebanese and Jordanians are now much less in all likelihood to mention this compared with 2014.


In all nations surveyed, adults with secondary schooling or better are more likely to very own their own cell smartphone than are people with less than secondary schooling. The education hole is maximum said in India, where greater knowledgeable human beings are 41 points more likely to apply a phone.


Ownership costs amongst ladies range extensively across the international locations–from a low of 56% in India to a high of 96% in Vietnam.

Phone sharing

In India, a sizeable part of phone sharers thinks telephones are too complicated to use (26%).


While phone users are typically younger and greater knowledgeable, the other is real of basic smartphone customers, the survey notes. People who use those more technically constrained devices to have a tendency to be older and feature lower tiers of training. Feature phone use, then again, doesn’t continuously range through age or education.

Social networks

Among the seven online social media systems and messaging apps asked approximately on this survey, a median of 62% use Facebook. Facebook is maximum famous in Jordan and Lebanon, in which approximately seven-in-ten adults say they currently use it. Although India has the smallest percentage of Facebook customers (24%) of the countries surveyed, the USA also has the largest net number of active Facebook customers within the world.

The messaging application WhatsApp, which was bought with the aid of Facebook in 2014, is also one of the most extensively used virtual systems, with a median of 47% pronouncing they use it. As with Facebook, WhatsApp is most famous in Jordan and Lebanon, where approximately 8-in-ten or greater say they presently use it. The messaging app is least famous inside the Philippines and Vietnam, where only a few adults use it – 4% and a couple of%, respectively.

In a maximum of the eleven international locations analyzed, a majority of adults report the usage of at least one of the seven social media systems or messaging apps included in this survey. Kenya and India are the handiest international locations wherein a majority of adults do not use at least any such social media or messaging services.

Internet utilization

India, according to the Pew survey, has the smallest percentage of net customers of the international locations surveyed–38% of Indians use the net. However, the survey provides that a majority of Indians a while 18 to 29 (55%) go browsing, as do a majority of Indians with a secondary degree or greater (67%).

However, the definition of an internet person used in this report seeks to capture the many methods wherein human beings are likely to go online. In addition to asking people directly whether they use the internet, people are also categorised as net users if they use any of the seven predominant social media or messaging offerings included inside the survey (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber and Tinder) or use a smartphone or feature smartphone which could connect to the net.

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