India is home to the most rapidly growing market for mobile phones on the planet. With around 900 million users, one of the most remarkable aspects of this market is the fact that in many households the mobile phone is the only piece of technology present. As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and Indian mobile phone users have come up with a myriad of different ways in which to use their phones that are somewhat out of the ordinary.

Unusual Mobile Habits from India

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The Missed Call

Although this is something that was once employed to great effect in this country, the falling price of phone calls here has rendered ‘giving three rings’ when you arrived home somewhat obsolete. Over in India, the use of the missed call has expanded to getting in touch with almost anyone. Even businesses are getting in on the act, with companies such as ZipDial allowing people to request information from a range of companies by way of a missed call. People can get in touch to request a sample, take out a service or leave feedback from businesses such as Colgate, Proctor and Gamble and Disney – all initiated by way of a missed call.

The Torch

Whilst we may use our phone momentarily as a torch to find our way to the bathroom at night without disturbing the rest of the household, the use of the flashlight feature on phones in India extends well beyond this. Thanks to the fact that India’s streets are often poorly lit and there are frequent power outages, the torch function is worth its weight in gold. Although most smartphone manufacturers have eschewed features such as the FM radio and flashlight, models intended for the subcontinent feature easily accessible flashlight functions.

The Radio

FM radios were once a staple of handsets produced for the UK market, but the rise of smartphones and streaming radio apps such as Spotify have sounded the death knell for the feature over here. The 200+ FM stations available for listeners in India mean that listening to the radio is a way of life for many citizens. Whether they are picking up low-end handsets or upgrading to smartphones, the use of the radio feature on a phone is incredibly important to the people of India.

The changing nature of the mobile phone market in the UK has seen the ways in which we use our handsets mutate out of all recognition over the past decade or so. Whereas once mobile phones were seen as communication devices, they are now used as cameras, media servers and entertainment centres, often without seeing much use as a phone in a day. According to BBC research, the changing use of mobile phones make users far more receptive to mobile advertising. Talking to the London digital marketing experts at can help you produce a strategy to tap into this market.

The research also showed that users of more modern (post-2012) phones across many different countries actually expect to see mobile adverts during their everyday browsing.