Smartphone usage hits 27pc, and rising fast [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's smartphone consumer penetration stood at 27 per cent in the first quarter of the year, and is rising fast.
Of this, more than one third (36 per cent) of mobile users aged 25 to 34 own a smartphone, according to new findings from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.
"Malaysia is primarily a feature phone market with 61 per cent of the mobile users communicating via a phone without a touch screen, QWERTY keypad or open operating system (OS)," Nielson Malaysia telecom practice global executive director Hanis Harun said.
"However, smartphone ownership and usage are experiencing exponential growth and expected to reach critical mass in Malaysia within the coming year," Hanis said at a press conference on the Nielsen 2012 Smartphone Insights study here yesterday.
The study, which interviewed more than 35,000 mobile users in 23 countries, showed that out of 58 per cent of Malaysian mobile users who are likely to upgrade their phones in the next six months, four in five (79 per cent) plan to buy a smartphone.
"With the accelerating growth of smartphone popularity, it is crucial for handset manufacturers, telecommunications operators and retailers alike to understand the diverse communications landscape that the smartphone is creating.
"Smartphones present myriad opportunities for business growth across a range of sectors, but in order to tap into these opportunities, companies must realise that smartphone users' engagement with their phones is fundamentally different and deeper than feature phone users, and different again to how they use their PCs and laptops," she said.
The study showed that each OS grabs a slice of the pie with its respective strengths.
Symbian, with its long-established presence in the mobile phone industry, commanded slightly more than one-third (34 per cent) of market share in terms of smartphone OS brands in the first quarter of the year.
Android finished a close second with 28 per cent of market share, followed by iPhone OS (18 per cent) and Blackberry OS (11 per cent).
Android was voted the favourite brand of OS across all smartphones by two out of five (42 per cent) online respondents.
It also garnered the highest votes (55 per cent) among users aged 16-24 years for popularity.
In Malaysia, Android accounted for more than half (52 per cent) of all smartphones bought within the last six months, putting the OS on a rapid growth trajectory.
"iPhone topped the list for average monthly expenditure among all OS brands in the category of RM150 and above per month, with 34 per cent of iPhone users stating that they spent RM150 and above," Hanis said.
In terms of number of apps regularly used, iPhone users made use of 31 apps on average, compared to 19 for all smartphone users.
Blackberry users showed highest adoption across many categories of data services, including instant messaging (68 per cent), streaming music (58 per cent), mobile banking (48 per cent), online games (46 per cent), mobile shopping (34 per cent) and VOIP (33 per cent), making Blackberry users among the most versatile and engaged with their devices.
Hanis said with an array of apps now available to smartphone users, the study pointed to the growing importance of apps as a key selection criteria in purchasing a smartphone in the future.
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