Smartphone Adoption Near-Complete Among Younger South Koreans
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.
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%).
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.