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How Southeast Asia Uses Smartphones

Users in Malaysia spend more time with mobile than their neighbors

February 17, 2016

Smartphone habits vary across Southeast Asia, according to 2015 research. But in all markets, users spend hours each day with mobile.

Smartphone Usage Metrics in Select Countries in Southeast Asia, Q2 2015

According to Q2 2015 data from Vserv, smartphone users in Malaysia spent more time each day with their devices than their counterparts in Indonesia, the Philippines or Thailand, at 187 minutes each day, or 3 hours 7 minutes. Malaysia was the only country studied where smartphone users averaged more than 3 daily hours of mobile time.

But Malaysia was also home to the lower number of average app installs per month, at 7.4. In Indonesia, meanwhile, smartphone users downloaded an average of 10.7 apps each month.

And data consumption varied significantly across countries—not directly correlated with time spent with devices, either.

According to eMarketer estimates, Indonesia has by far the largest smartphone population of the four countries studied. The island nation—which is the fourth-largest country in the world by population and the third-largest in Asia-Pacific—will be home to 65.2 million smartphone users this year. eMarketer forecasts a smartphone population of 29.9 million for the Philippines, the second-largest market studied by Vserv. In Thailand, 20.0 million people will use a smartphone this year, and 11.0 million will do so in Malaysia.

Malaysia has the smallest absolute number of smartphone users of any country studied, but the highest penetration: 49.2% of mobile phone users in Malaysia will use a smartphone this year, eMarketer estimates. That compares with 42.8% of mobile phone users in Thailand, 40.4% in Indonesia and 40.0% in the Philippines.

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