Updated OS necessary for ‘accessible’ online gaming smartphones: ENV Media report

Although there’s no operating system (OS) that’s inherently superior to the other, there’s no denying that the mobile OS landscape is dominated by Android. In mobile-first India, Android has been leading the pack since 2014, when it grabbed an estimated 45 percent market share.

Android commands 80% of OS markets

A new report by ENV Media, titled ‘Which mobile devices do Indian online gamblers use most?’ noted how the assortment of affordable mobile devices—coupled with cheap data packages—is proving to be a boon for the country’s mobile-first gaming market. The ENV research estimated that “around half of all smartphone users in India play mobile games,” and Android mobile phones are seen as “the primary medium for gaming” both for online and offline games.

Android-based mobile devices are popular among India’s online casino apps players not only because they’re cheaper, but also because the OS is open and the mobile hardware is manufactured locally. With China-branded mobile devices—incidentally also Android-based—hardware parts and tech support can be found easily in the country, not to mention there is also the growing number of social media influencer and tech reviews in India that target primarily Android devices.

“The rationale behind the current OS landscape in India is multifaceted. Attempts to shake up the market trends have been made even as recently as 2017,” according to the ENV Media report.

Is your OS up to date?

Data from Statcounter showed that there is a market split among the Android versions currently used in the country. Interestingly, 38 percent of users have the Android 10 OS installed to help keep their mobile devices running at a decent level of updates; however, figures also show that nearly 50 percent of users in the country have Android 9 and below.

This, ENV researchers pointed out, not only affects user experience, but also “shows that many players would find it difficult to fully enjoy a feature-loaded or a generally heavy app or Indian gambling platforms like Purewin.com

“Smartphones need to be accessible, easily found, and compared, they should have similar traits to those of friends and relatives, and they should offer the chance to play multiplayer card games or share casual gaming insights,” the report stated.

The current global landscape, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the tipping point for online gaming in India. A separate report by KPMG noted how the pandemic provided “a significant bump up to online gaming” particularly in India given that more and more consumers turn to gaming as a form of escapism and entertainment.

“The online gaming industry is on a significant growth trajectory across both user and monetization and sophistication metrics. With the growing digital penetration and sophistication across India, the gaming segment will be a key beneficiary and will likely rival other key traditional forms of media and entertainment in both size and scale,” according to the KPMG report, adding, “The COVID-19 induced lockdown in 2020, while devastating for the economy at large, helped online gaming get a leg up in terms of both consumption and monetisation. A further uptick is expected owing to the lockdowns in 2021, on account of the second wave of the pandemic in India.”