Smart Phone Markets in Asia Pacific

Tue 26 June 2012 08:30, Vitto Christaldi

Smart Phone Markets in Asia Pacific

A recent study conducted by Nielsen revealed the prevalence of smart phones in 13 Asia Pacific markets. It appears that 72% of mobile users in Singapore use smart phones, which makes Singapore the country with the highest smart phone ownership in Asia Pacific, followed by Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.



Handset Types Amongst Mobile Users in Asia Pacific, Aged 16 - 64 Years Old (Source: Media Partners Asia)

In the chart below, you could see the details of operating systems that people use in 13 markets in Asia Pacific. It appears that Symbian operating system still dominates most countries in Asia Pacific, with the largest market share in Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. RIM BlackBerry operating system also still has significant presence in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia.


Mobile Internet Usage in Asia Pacific (Source: Media Partners Asia)

For smart phone markets, Android operating system dominates most countries in East Asia, such as in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong, and China. iOS (Apple) owners, however, are still quite low compare to the other types of smart phones. The only market where iOS is leading is Singapore. Japan also has a lot of iOS users, but apparently most Japanese still prefers to use Android then iOS.

As smart phones continued to increase in Asia Pacific, mobile internet usage is also increasing; especially for social networking and internet search. According to the study, almost nine to ten smart phone users in Japan, followed by 80% Korean smart phone users, and 76% of Hong Kong smart phone population.  In addition, Mobile social networking is very popular in Hong Kong and Malaysia, whereas 76% and 74% smart phone users in Hong Kong and Malaysia visit social network regularly through their smart phones in the past months. 


Share of Operating System Among Smartphone Users in Asia Pacific (Source: Media Partners Asia)

Location-Based Services also increased along the rise of smart phone users in Asia Pacific. It appears that Korea has the highest usage of Location Based-Services through smart phones (59%), followed by Japan (56%), Hong Kong (53%), and Taiwan (53%).

Vishal Bali, Managing Director of Nielsen’s Telecom Industry Group in the APMEA Region, added “In particular, location-aware services provide great potential for location-based shopping and convenience services. Although currently both location-based and location-aware services are being primarily utilized by smartphone users in mature markets such as Korea, Japan, Singapore and China, other markets in Asia such as Indonesia and Malaysia where currently the usage is more focused on social networking and search will be quick to catch up as availability of these services improves”.

Next to smart phones, Nielsen also revealed the growing of tablet markets in Asia Pacific. In China, almost 40% of smart phone users also own a tablet; same goes to Thailand and Malaysia with 32% and 30%. 


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