Wednesday, March 16, 2016

India’s Smartphone Revolution

Technology is such an integral part of our lives today that we often do not realise the huge impact it has on us daily. Be it email, social networks, messaging, video chats or whatever, the fact is that our daily activities are governed by our access to technology which unlimits our access to the world around us. And in this tryst with technology, our medium for accessing today is none other than our trusted mobile device.

Yes, the very mobile phone which has taken the form of the savvy smartphone has become the most important asset that we possess for most of our daily activities today. More and more people are going for smartphones today ditching features phones to access the options available through the means of internet and technology. The advent of the culture of professionalism in lieu of the traditional laid back government jobs that have dominated our attitude for the past many decades has been heralded by the coming of the mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, etc which has made the internet an almost essential component such as water supply or electricity.

In the last few decades, some people in the urban scenarios were seen with devices like pagers for their work purposes but they never really got popular beyond a point. While desktop computers brought Indians closer to the world in terms of technology, it was really the popularity of the portable laptop over the last decade that revolutionised how Indians access technology. Thankfully, India witnessed an internet revolution in the last ten years in the urban centres that changed the face of the country’s professional and technical scenario. Easy access to internet through various service providers and the role played by portable laptops brought people of this country join the proverbial global village that technology had built up across the world in the last couple of decades. While mobile phones largely remained a device for primary communication such as making calls and messaging, it was really the advent of the smartphone that made it into the powerful device that it has become today.

While the credit for making the smartphone a savvy device goes largely to the legendary Steve Jobs and Apple, in India the revolution was brought in Google’s Android devices. Indians, who had already gotten hooked onto the search engine, now found the Android OS from the same company as a powerful platform to explore the vast world of internet. Suddenly, the mobile phone was no longer a means to just make calls or send messages. It became a medium of multimedia that could not explored in earlier mediums and made Indians experience technology like never before. So be it social networking, video chatting, on phone editing and what not, the smartphone has become the plaything of the average tech savvy urban Indian today which makes him or her empowered to achieved several feats on  touch screen platform.

While Android was around for the first couple of years in the Indian markets during the turn of 2010, the devices did not hit instant popularity as they were highly priced. It wasn’t until the game changing advent of the Indian vendors such Micromax, Xolo and Lava that the smartphones reached out to the hands of the middle class Indians. The widespread popularity of these devices forced the more lucrative brands to rethink their strategy and today some of the best brands with great features are available at the most competitive prices. The competition among these various brands, be they foreign or Indian, has sparked off the smartphone revolution that has engulfed most of the urban youth in its grip.

The smartphone revolution has resulted in the mobile device becoming a means to express yourself in the most diverse way possible. The presence of the online stores in mobile OS platforms like Android and iOS has brought in several options for the users as they can download various apps for free that help in their daily work in various ways. Many professionals do several of their editing works on their mobile devices, be it smartphones or tablets. The scope for net banking or online share trading has also increased significantly on the mobile devices that make such work very easy for professionals while being on the move.

While the urban centres of the country seem to have embraced the smartphone revolution with open arms, the smartphone is slowly making inroads into the rural centres as well. This is the sector that has been untapped and has great potential to use technology to overcome most of the problems that have plagued villages for so many years now. While it is heartening to see people from the lower strata of life in the urban centres using smartphone in their daily lives, it is only a matter of time before the same scenario is seen among the people in the urban sector as well. The presence of internet and technology can open up a lot of options for the rural people and bridge the gap with the urban folks that can go a long way in bringing in a semblance in the development of both sides. The current government’s policies like Digital India is also taking the internet and smartphone revolution in the right direction.

The world is making most of internet and technology today. We Indians must not lag behind in this regard, be it in the rural or urban sector. The smartphone can play a pivotal role in making this dream a success and we must grab it with both hands. 
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