Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mobile Usage Patterns

With markets flooded with different kinds of mobile phones buyers often get confused as to what is the best option for them. Even though the buyer’s budget plays a crucial role in selecting a mobile but the confusion arises when there are several options available in the same price range. I think one way to identify the right mobile for the buyer is to figure out the intended use for him. It will make little sense to buy an Android phone to a hawker or a maid who is only going to use the mobile for making the phone calls. I have tried to come up with the category of users based on the usage pattern and the kind of services that they generally use on mobile. Try to identify your category in order to target the correct type of mobile.

1. College going students. These are the users who are active on Facebook, twitter, and use mobile camera to share the photos across friends. This user category requires a phone that keeps them connected when they are away from the PC/laptops. The phone must have the apps for the Facebook, twitter, chat messenger, and a good camera. The mobile companies have provided the users option to go for the touch screen or QWERTY keypad. This category of the users is highly concerned with the looks of the phone and how easy they can download the latest apps.
Some of the features that are mostly looked for :
  • Camera Resolution : Higher the resolution the happier the customer
  • HD video recording: Most cameras are available with the 720px video recording. The phones are coming with 16-32 GB expandable memory that helps in storing the HD videos.
  • 3G capability: Almost a must to have.
  • GPS: Lot of mobile apps are based on GPS for .eg. based on the phone location the users look for the facebook friends in the vicinity. The GPS is now available in most of the smart phones
  • Mobile Apps: Phones are available from 5000-35000. The low end phones come with the mobile apps like facebook, twitter, weather that have been created exclusively for that phone (just like the age old calculater, todo applications). These phones do not allow the users to add new applications on their own. While other phones specially based on Android, Symbian allows the users to add the mobile apps on the fly.
  • Music sound: Sound quality is important since these users will be always listening to music.

2. Gamers: College students, Young professionals who are addicted to the mobile gaming. They want to play high end graphics multiplayer games on their mobile phones. Not all mobile phones can support high end graphics because of the limitation of the hardware. The mobile companies are now launching phones that have in addition to the regular processor a snapdragon A5 graphics processor. So basically the phones are now bundled with a high speed GPU which will enable running the high end games. Also these phones have lot of memory (atleast 512MB RAM) required to running the games. These phones are almost as powerful as the laptop only difference being the small form factor.
There are phones in pipeline that will have a 3D screen to create the WOW effect while playing the games (of course you will not be required to wear the 3D glasses to get the effect).
The phones are generally equipped with the sensors like Gyroscope, Accelerometer to capture the movements of the user when he/she is playing the game and act as an input for changing topology of the game/ view screen of the game etc.

3. Business users. This kind of users is mostly business executives, sales/marketing leaders who are always travelling. They require a phone that can connect them to their office mails using the Push mailing. They also require an office suite on the phone that can help them to open the power point presentations, excel sheets, word documents. They prefer to have a QWERTY keypad over touch for faster typing. Some of the other features include
  • WiFi connection: This is a must for business users since they will want to use the WiFi hot spots at the airports, café’s, restaurants etc.
  • Battery Life: Since the users are mostly travelling they will want to have a battery that can last long.
  • Projector: The innovative idea of having a projector in the phone has quite interesting applications for the users. If they have the data on the mobile they can just project it bypassing the requirement to transfer the data into the laptop first. Also sometimes in the field it is not possible to arrange for the LCD projectors. The inbuilt phone projector is quite handy. Check the Spice mobile ads for some of the interesting applications

4. Techies. These users want to experience all the latest and greatest features that are available in the market. Their requirements in the phone changes as and when some new features or technologies are introduced in the mobiles. These are the guys who are ready to switch their phones as an when a new phone is introduced. Some of the key CTQs are:
Touch screen, WiFi, Ability to download Apps, Motion Sensors, Latest Operating System (Android/Symbian), 3G capability, Camera Resolution.
Some of the users also want to write their own applications for the mobile in which case they are also concerned with how easy it is to program and add the in-house software/Apps on the mobile.
In some way these users are the Beta tester for the companies since they are the ones who are going to use the new features and share their opinion about them.

5. Common Man. This is the largest chunk of the users. The spectrum is quite diverse; hawkers, maids, drivers, clerks, house wives, middle age adults etc. The main use case these users execute is phone books, write SMS, listen to FM. The good quality camera is not the primary CTQ but it is good to have. They are highly price sensitive and look for the cheapest set available in the market. The user base is spread in the villages, cities, towns in short almost everywhere. After sale service is a huge differentiators since they are not ready to change the phone often.

6. Old age people. This group of users mainly uses the phone to talk and may be listen to music. The main requirements is that the dial pad should have large numbers, and the battery life should be more since the users may forgot to charge the phones for days. The companies are coming up with the phones specially designed for them.


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