Asia-Pacific is economically diverse, but universally high mobile usage unites the region. Mobile users in Asia-Pacific are increasingly looking at their phones as a first screen, whether to download media, access the internet or communicate with peers—and marketers.
eMarketer estimates over 2.1 billion people in Asia-Pacific will use a mobile phone at least monthly this year, representing over half the population of the region. By the end of 2011, Asia-Pacific will account for 56% of all mobile users in the world. Growth will be steady, with penetration reaching 72.6% by 2015 for a mobile population of nearly 2.9 billion.
“There is a dramatic contrast between highly advanced mobile countries such as Japan and South Korea and huge developing nations like China and India,” said Noah Elkin, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report, “Asia-Pacific Mobile: Redefining the Digital Landscape.” “And within the emerging markets in particular, there is a second divide, where the majority of mobile users own simple prepaid phones and a small but growing number sport smartphones and advanced feature phones.”
Mobile phones in some developing markets may have limited capabilities, but that is not stopping consumers from using them in innovative and unexpected ways. Internet access rates are high despite the preponderance of feature phones, and SMS remains a vital tool for delivering everything from marketing messages to banking services.
eMarketer estimates just under 30% of Asia-Pacific mobile users, or 623.3 million, will log on to the web via mobile at least monthly in 2011. Mobile internet penetration is expected to rise to 42.1% of mobile users in the region by 2015. And for many of these users, mobile is the first screen for internet access.
As the mobile internet user population mushrooms, mobile advertising is forecast to see similarly meteoric growth. Combined mobile ad spending for the region’s three largest markets—Japan, China and India—will rise from $2.01 billion in 2011 to $3.94 billion in 2015.
“Mobile devices have grown ubiquitous across Asia-Pacific, and marketers have likewise become an omnipresent part of the landscape,” said Elkin. “With mobile as the first or only screen, users are well acquainted with and often more accepting of mobile advertising.”
The full report, “Asia-Pacific Mobile: Redefining the Digital Landscape,” also answers these key questions:
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Check out today’s other article, “
Consumers Embrace Social Media for Brand Feedback.”
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