Mumbai, July 16, 2012: Olacabs, India’s largest aggregator of car rentals and point-to-point cab services, today announced the launch of its iPhone application, “Olacabs” which allows users to book a cab with one touch on their iPhones.
The iPhone app launch follows the successful launch of company’s Android app last month, which has already seen more than 5000 downloads. Currently, Olacabs receives 10% of its bookings through mobile phones. The company expects this to go up to 20% in the next 6 months.
According to “India Smartphone Outlook for 2012” report released by Convergence Catalyst, smartphone sales in India were around 9.5 million units. iPhones comprised 2.4% of this market with 2,28,000 units. The report also states that India will witness close to 100% growth in the smartphone market in 2012, with total smartphone shipments expected to reach 18 - 20 million units. iPhones are expected to have a market share of close to 2.4% or 480000 units.
Commenting on the launch, Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Olacabs said, “With the expected proliferation of smartphones in India, it made good business sense for us to launch apps to help smartphone users easily access Olacabs. The launch of the iPhone app, and the earlier Android app, are an extension of our commitment of making cab booking easy and hassle-free for our customers.”
With Olacabs’ app for iPhone and Android, customers can book the nearest Olacab and track its movement towards them with a one-touch interface on their iPhone and Android phones. The app provides users instantaneous confirmation of booking along with necessary details like the name of the cab driver and vehicle number, distance from the user’s location as well as expected time taken to reach the location. The app also tracks and shows the real time movement of the cab from its location to the location of the customer, on a map. Registered users can also maintain a credit balance with Olacabs and use the service through the app as and when needed, without having to pay for the trip.
The applications directly address the on-the-ground uncertainties that most taxi-users face in India. By providing direct interface between the customer and the cab, this app eliminates the ambiguity of not knowing where the cab is, or how long the driver will take to reach the destination and provides greater control and real time information at the customer’s disposal. With the built in GPS system and location sharing, the app also ensures that a customer does not waste valuable time speaking to the customer care or the driver multiple times to provide directions. The driver reaches the pick-up point on his own.
This app also provides a boost to the business for cab drivers as they are able to get customers faster through efficient management of taxi time due to technologies like GPS, constant traffic alerts and real-time demand estimation. Incidentally, operations inside the car are managed through an android phone that acts as an in-car navigation device and fare meter.
Currently Olacabs operates in Mumbai. It will launch its services in Delhi and Bangalore soon. By the end of the year, the company plan to offer services in 10 cities across India and the apps will be available from day one of the launch, in each of these cities. Apart from the apps, the customers will continue to have the option of booking their Olacab through phone (using the customer care) or online.