San Francisco-based cab hailing company Uber on Tuesday said that people can now book an UberGo in Nagpur, Kochi, Guwahati and Jodhpur via a web browser such as Chrome, UCWeb, Safari or an Opera.
“We’re now making requesting an Uber even easier. You can now request an Uber straight from your phone – whether you have the Uber app or not. Users have to log on to dial.uber.com from their smartphones, request an uberGO in these four cities and pay by cash,” the company said in a statement.
It is quite obvious that the move is aimed to increase its user base in India but the company declined to comment and only said that “the project is a pilot and will be expanded to other cities if successful.” The move also will help users without a Android or a iOS device to book cabs easily.
While the company also declined to comment on the choice of the four cities, it is quite obvious that it must have taken into account factors like networks, smartphone density and penetration. India is the second largest smartphone in the world and even if its cellular networks are not great, at least 980 million smartphone users waiting to come on board for the first time.
Also, another factor could be that the app-only model doesn’t work well in the country. Myntra and LocalOye, which also went app-only, had to relaunch their desktop or web services soon as their traffic was declining. Last month, Uber tied up with Snapdeal to let Snapdeal users book a cab from the Snapdeal Android app. Users needn’t have Uber installed on their phones to get a cab.
Uber’s rival in India, Ola went app-only in July 2015 claiming that over 90 percent of its bookings came from mobile phones.
HOW DOES IT WORK
1) Navigate to dial.uber.com on your mobile phone
2) Enter your phone number to quickly login or sign-up
3) View pricing information, get a fare estimate, and request for your ride with a single tap
4) After requesting, we will instantly connect you with your driver over call to coordinate pickup
5)Once the trip is completed, you can pay your driver in cash