Smartphone penetration hits 63% in Malaysia


GADGET LOVERS: The Ericsson ConsumerLab study confirms this well-know fact - that we in South-East Asia love our smartphones and tablets. - AFP

GADGET LOVERS: The Ericsson ConsumerLab study confirms this well-know fact - that we in South-East Asia love our smartphones and tablets. - AFP

It goes without saying — we love our smartphones and tablets, and here is some data from a recently concluded analysis by Ericsson ConsumerLab in South-East Asia to prove it.

According to the study, smartphone penetration increased from 47% in 2012 to 63% this year while tablet penetration increased almost threefold from 14% in 2012 to 39% in 2013.

The study is based on an online survey which queried 500 urban users who use the Internet daily, and are aged between 16 and 60.

Besides voice calls and SMS, the need to connect to the Internet is one of the key drivers for buying a smartphone, said Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Ericsson (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd regional head for its ConsumerLab.

“There is a clear change in mobile data usage. Users now prefer instant messaging, social networking and video streaming,” he said.

“The strong adoption could be due to increased promotions for apps like WeChat, Line and Kakao Talk over TV and online media.”

He also said that 17% of the respondents indicated that they would buy a smartphone within the next six months.

Also, the monthly data consumption of the average smartphone user is expected to quadruple to an average of 2GB of data per user in 2018, signalling the need for operators to increase of the bandwidth of networks to cope with the explosion of data.

Mobile network traffic continues to grow at an impressive rate because the demand for data is driven by the uptake of smart devices and apps, he said.