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Mobile Web Use in APAC: The Good and the Bad

More developed markets lead in penetration, but room for growth remains

Internet usage in Asia-Pacific may look like a tale of two regions, with more developed markets displaying markedly higher penetration, while emerging markets are where the growth’s at. And based on eMarketer estimates of mobile phone internet usage, the story is not too different on smartphones and other mobile internet-enabled handsets than it is for web usage as a whole.

The same country, South Korea, boasts the highest internet and mobile phone internet penetration across the region—though mobile phone internet usage was more than 8 percentage points less common than any access at all. Mobile phone internet penetration rates were also lower in Australia and Japan, which swapped second and third place by this metric vs. overall internet penetration.

Meanwhile, the drop-off between more and less developed markets remains steep.

Growth patterns tell a slightly different story when isolated to the mobile web, however. While India and Indonesia boast both the fastest-growing internet populations overall as well as the fastest-growing mobile phone internet populations, there remains significant room for gains in developed markets Australia and South Korea. While internet penetration has been flat in these countries for years, mobile phone internet usage is still rising at double-digit rates this year, while growth in China is actually lower, at 9.2%.

Overall, eMarketer estimates, there will be nearly 1.17 billion mobile phone internet users in Asia-Pacific this year, more than half of whom will reside in China.

eMarketer bases all of its forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population, along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends, and trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

In addition, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all of its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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