Smartphone Adoption Near-Complete Among Younger South Koreans - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Smartphone Adoption Near-Complete Among Younger South Koreans

Messaging, social media popular user activities

October 21, 2013

The explosive adoption of web-enabled devices among consumers in South Korea has been well-documented; the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) last year reported that smartphone penetration in the country had leapt to 78.5% in 2012, from 39.2% the previous year, among those ages 18 to 59.

A February 2013 poll from Google, conducted by research firms Ipsos MediaCT and TNS Infratest, uncovered similar data, finding that 73% of internet users in South Korea had a smartphone. But penetration was even higher among those ages 18 to 24—97.7% to be exact. Smartphone ownership tapered off as user age increased: it was just above 95% among the 25-to-34 age group, and was close to 90% among 35- to 44-year-olds.

Internet Users in South Korea Who Own a Smartphone, by Age and Gender, Feb 2013 (% of respondents)

But what, exactly, are smartphone users in South Korea doing with their devices? Digital media and marketing solutions company DMC Media polled web-enabled mobile device users in South Korea ages 19 to 59 in July. It found that the largest group of respondents, 64%, picked up their smartphone to use a mobile messaging service. Next in line were social media (43.4%), texting (39.6%), email (26.2%) and web browsing (25.2%).

Smartphone/Tablet Activities of Smartphone and Tablet Users in South Korea, July 2013 (% of respondents)

The most popular activities on tablets were significantly different, with web browsing taking the top spot, followed by video viewing, social media use and email.

Corporate subscribers have access to all eMarketer analyst reports, articles, data and more. Join the thousands of marketers who already benefit from eMarketer’s approach. Learn more.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.