The use of smartphone is increasing very fast across the world and it is interesting to note that Asia-Pacific region is about to reach 2 billion smartphone users by 2019, accounting for 83 percent of the overall unique mobile subscriber base.
Asia-Pacific Region About to Reach 2 Billion Unique Smartphone Users by 2019
According to a Forrester Report, last year the number of unique smartphone users in the region crossed 1 billion, which also marked the first time this user segment was larger than those who used feature phones.
The market researcher said:[pull_quote_center]“The number of unique smartphone users would exceed 2 billion by 2019, clocking a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent”[/pull_quote_center]
The report also noted that in Asia the overall installed base for smartphones was expected to hit 3.1 billion which is 80 percent of total mobile subscriptions. Smartphone penetration rates in most markets would exceed 75 percent.
It added that 51 percent of smartphone owners in the region would be aged 34 and below, with the remaining aged 35 and above.
The adoption of Smartphones is also due to the wide availability of low-cost devices which are introduced in the market by global as well as regional manufacturers, including LG, Samsung, Gionee, Micromax, and Xiaomi.
According to Forrester:[pull_quote_center]”This hyper-competition is causing the average selling price of smartphones to decline, making the devices more affordable for the masses”[/pull_quote_center]
For instance, Last year in the Indian market 95 brands launched more than 1,100 smartphone models, with 64 of these from local device makers. Almost 60 percent of these smartphones were priced between US$75 and US$235, pushing the average selling price of smartphones in India by 19 percent over 2014.
China also followed the same trend, with the prices of many smartphones dropping below US$160 last year, Forrester noted.
The market analyst also said that the increasing use of e-commerce and messaging services, such as WhatsApp and WeChat, were also the reason of adoption of smartphones. Almost 80 percent of online users in metro India used WhatsApp to communicate. In China, 96 percent of smartphone users used WeChat, with those living in metro areas spending more than nine hours a week on the messaging app.
According to the Forrester report, by 2019, only Pakistan’s smartphone penetration would clock 38 percent and feature phone users would account for 30 percent of the overall subscriber base. The country’s adoption would be held back by low per-capita income, lack of 3G data adoption, and political instability.
The rest of Asia-Pacific was expected to see smartphone penetration rates of 70 percent and above by 2019.
According to Forrester:[pull_quote_center]”Once the infrastructure–smartphones combined with high-speed wireless internet–is in place, consumers will increasingly demand high-definition, localized digital content, services, and touchpoints to engage with brands,”[/pull_quote_center]
Growth markets, including India, Indonesia, Japan, and Vietnam, was predicted to see unique smartphone penetration of 70 percent to 90 percent.
According to Forrester:[pull_quote_center]”Until most of the markets in this group reach critical mass for smartphone adoption over the next two to three years, brands operating there must build digital services for both feature phone and smartphone users. This means having a mobile website and potentially an app,”[/pull_quote_center]