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2nd Sept, 2014: Internet penetration in the world’s largest democracy is at the tipping point. According to a recent report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB International, India currently has over 200 million active internet users and is soon likely to outnumber American internet users to become the world’s second-largest online community after China. Another interesting observation is how Indian hinterlands are fast jumping on the internet bandwagon. While urban India continues to account for a large percentage of internet users across the country, it is rural India which is showing immense potential, registering an impressive growth. And as the country and its netizens ride the Internet wave, one phenomenon that is fueling this tidal growth is smartphones penetration. According to market research firm IDC, India was the fastest-growing market in Asia-Pacific smartphone shipments from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014. While the figures are astounding, one fact is clear. India is fast accessing Internet and smart phones are rapidly replacing desktop computers and laptops as the window to World Wide Web. And the trend is only set to grow further, as the market gets flooded by budget smartphones to delight of urban as well as rural Indians alike all thanks to domestic and Chinese mobile phone manufacturers increasingly focusing on the segment.
As more users switch to a smart phone from a feature phone and start accessing the Internet for the first time using a mobile, it becomes important for them to have access a platform that is not only user friendly but also guides them to meaningful content. This becomes all the more pertinent to first time mobile internet users from rural India who are complete novices to browsing and struggle finding the right content. UCWeb is successfully catering to this and other segments of mobile internet users in the country with their one of a kind mobile browser, UC Browser. Ever since its launch in 2012, UC Browser has captured the largest market share to become the leading third party mobile internet browser in the country and has emerged as one of the top free apps on Play Store and is the most downloaded Windows Phone browser.
With the objective of helping mobile internet novices transition to internet savvy “netizens” and thereby, increasing the mobile internet penetration in the country, UC Browser has developed and integrated specific localized features. For instance, there are regions in India where internet connectivity is low. In such regions, UC Browser’s data compression technology becomes a great help. Here, websites which would otherwise take a lot of time to load, open quickly. This in turn also increases the download speed. For people who commute daily and wish to enjoy internet content on the move without exhausting their data plan, the browser allows download of videos and news articles for offline viewing.
Further, UC Browser enables local content such that users can enjoy quick and easy access to updates on popular sporting events like IPL, FIFA or daily news and the recently added PNR status for Indian railways. Offering the netizens the ability to customize the UI, browsing in incognito mode along withthe speed mode, the unique features and unique Add-on Platform by UC Browserenables the user to consume information from the world wide web while on the move.