Tablet Adoption Remains Low in South Korea - eMarketer

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Tablet Adoption Remains Low in South Korea

Only 20% of the country's population will use a tablet this year

January 14, 2015

Tablet penetration is lower in South Korea than in any other advanced digital market in Asia-Pacific, according to eMarketer’s latest estimates of tablet usage around the world. This year, we expect just over 20% of South Korea’s population to use a tablet at least once per month, compared with over 45% of the population of Australia, 24.1% in China and 23.3% in Japan.

Tablet Users and Penetration in South Korea, 2013-2018 (millions, % of internet users and % of population)

Among internet users, penetration will be slightly higher, at 24.3%. eMarketer’s estimates of tablet users include people who own or simply have regular access to a tablet and use the device at least monthly.

“One major reason the tablet population in South Korea will remain under 10 million this year is the country’s high adoption of phablets, which represent a high percentage of smartphones in South Korea and may make tablets a less attractive option for users who already have a fairly large mobile screen at their fingertips. Research also indicates that a high share of mobile internet users in the country access the mobile web via smartphone, rather than a tablet or feature phone, and popular mobile service KakaoTalk pretty much requires the immediacy of a smartphone,” explained Haixia Wang, vice president of forecasting at eMarketer.

Tablet Users and Penetration in Asia-Pacific, by Country, 2013-2018

eMarketer expects nearly a million new tablet users in South Korea annually through 2017, when the pace of growth will slow again. By the end of our forecast period, just over one-quarter of the population of South Korea will use a tablet monthly. That will compare with an outright majority in Australia, more than 30% penetration in China and Japan, and an 18.2% penetration rate in Indonesia, where the tablet audience is growing at a rapid pace.

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 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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