- Share of smartphone Internet traffic in China is forecast to reach 37% by 2018, up from 18% in 2014.
- Although Malaysia and New Zealand have historically lagged their Asia Pacific (APAC) counterparts, both countries are poised to break 40% smartphone penetration by 2018.
|Source: ADI. China will lead the smartphone charge in the APAC region.|
The unstoppable momentum of smartphones is almost singlehandedly driving the phenomenal growth in the number of new Internet users globally, the latest Mobile Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) Report has found, with the APAC region responsible for the lion’s share of that growth.
The report, based on the global analysis of 1.7 trillion visits to more than 16,000 websites between January 2014 and January 2017, found that smartphones were the source of 500 million new Internet users globally. India and China combined accounted for 366.3 million new consumers – 268.9 million and 97.4 million respectively, while Indonesia accounted for 15.7 million new Internet visitors.
Nearly all the growth in traffic to the Internet can be attributed to smartphones, according to senior ADI analyst Trevor Jones. He flags China, India, Malaysia and New Zealand as the countries to watch for big growth in smartphone penetration. “These countries are not showing any signs of slowing down over the course of 2017,” he says.
Smartphone traffic in India has increased by 290% since 2014. Desktop traffic is down 6% while tablet traffic is steady at 3% growth. “Desktop and tablet traffic is stagnant or shrinking in the vast majority of APAC countries,” he says. For India, ADI forecasts 46% smartphone share by 2018, up from 18% in 2014.
While mobile growth in China has been relatively slow, Jones observes that “each percentage point brings millions more smartphone users to the Internet”. The ADI Report forecasts share of smartphone Internet traffic in China to reach 37% by 2018, up from 18% in 2014.
Malaysia and New Zealand have historically lagged their APAC counterparts, but both countries are poised to break 40% smartphone penetration by 2018.
“The biggest opportunities lie in India and China, both of which are experiencing huge growth, yet large amounts of their population remain untouched,” he says.
“Every percentage change in share of traffic or traffic growth has a much bigger impact in these countries. India and China still have millions of people that have yet to access the Internet, therefore they are the markets where growth will be the easiest to attain.”
As Asia moves away from tablets in favour of cheaper and more convenient smartphones, Jones believes their increased adoption presents challenges for marketers. “Smartphones are allowing millions of people to access the Internet that otherwise might never have had the opportunity. Developing countries have latched on to smartphones and have caught up and outpaced many affluent countries around the world,” Jones says.
“APAC marketers need to understand that many consumers might never even use a desktop or a tablet and that the smartphone experience needs to be smooth enough to keep people satisfied and engaged.”
When it comes to app installation growth, India leads the pack with a 49% increase since 2014, in contrast to most countries that have experienced a decrease in the use of apps.
“The huge adoption rates of smartphones in developing countries are helping keep app usage steady for now, but countries like the US and UK have seen app installation declines of -9% and -38% respectively since 2014,” Jones says. “These trends are likely a precursor of what will occur in other countries.”
View Mobile Adobe Digital Insights (ADI) Report results (Slideshare)
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