Monday, March 06, 2006

IDC: Less Than 10% Of Users in Asia Pacific Are Utilizing Services Other Than SMS

According to an IDC, survey, conducted across seven key markets in Asia/Pacific - Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, PRC, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan - "other than text messaging, the adoption of advanced services such as mobile phone payment, online mobile gaming and mobile email have yet to reach noteworthy levels of usage."

Karen V. Rondon at IDC said, "Improved adoption of different mobile data services will go hand in hand with the pervasiveness of mobile handsets capable of supporting such services as well as ease of use. The challenge therefore lies with service operators and mobile phone vendors to educate and accustom the market to the value proposition of such services and mobile devices that come with affordable price tags.”

The research found that "mobile phone penetration saw a dramatic growth across Asia/Pacific over the last few years. In 2005, the number of respondents who owned mobile phones reaching 90.2% compared with 80.2% reported in the previous year. Australia and Singapore showed the highest growth rates of 11%, in terms of mobile phone ownership, while Hong Kong and Taiwan declined by three percentage points, reflecting the saturation of mobile phone market. These two countries also registered the highest level of mobile penetration as of 2004, and it was not uncommon for users to own more than two mobile phones."

One point noted was that "smartphones with PDA ownership remains minimal across all countries at less than 5 % penetration."

Rondon added, "Operators, vendors and content providers will be heartened to learn that more than 50% of the users have a less-than-three year phone replacement cycle and this augurs well for the progressive introduction of more and more feature-rich services enabled by upgraded phones." Some key data usage metrics were:

  • SMS maintained as the most popular mobile data application, with 65% of the users sending text messages everyday.
  • Over 20% of users download icons/screensavers/logos/ringtones, send camera-phone taken photos and play offline games, with their mobile phones at least once a month or more frequently
  • More than 10% of users utilize information services, instant messaging and participate in voting events/polls/raffles, via their mobile phone.