ECONOMY

Smartphones gaining ground in Greece

smartphones-gaining-ground-in-greece

Greeks spent over 4.6 billion hours scrolling on their smartphones last year, according to a survey by cellphone data analysis company App Annie.

That amount, which reveals just how much smartphones have become a part of everyday life, is actually estimated to be even bigger as the figures by the US company do not include the data used by the iOS appliances – i.e. iPhones.

Those 4.6 billion hours, or 12.7 million per day, form part of the 3.5 trillion hours that Android users globally spent online on their smartphones in 2020.

Users in Greece spent 124 million euros on apps from the Google app store last year, while the number of downloads came to 250 million. These figures are thought to be considerably higher than 2019 due to the coronavirus lockdowns, although there was no similar report for 2019 to prove it. Globally, demand for new applications and games increased 7% in 2020 compared to 2019, while expenditure jumped 20% to €340 billion.

According to a separate survey of 44 countries by Tefficient, Greece ranked second only to Croatia in the increase in data usage over the first half of 2020, compared to a year earlier. In the January-June period data usage rose 86% in Greece from the same time in 2019 to 1.5 gigabyte per SIM card. That lifted Greece from the bottom of the Tefficient chart in 2019 (44th) to 40th spot.

Crucially, the increase in use has not been followed by a rise in the price per GB; instead, the cost of each GB dropped 46% in the first half of 2020, leading to a reduction in the revenues of mobile service providers. The drop in the rate is attributed to the increase in the data supply by companies through the provision of unlimited data to their subscribers.

After Cosmote and Wind, which offered their users unlimited internet data over Christmas, Vodafone announced on Monday that it is offering unlimited data for three months to all users with handsets compatible with the fifth-generation network. The gradual penetration of 5G will make unlimited data routine.