Malaysians love their smartphones, and the latest statistics from Google’s Consumer Barometer shows just how important mobile communications has become in this country. There is a similar trend among Asian countries, who dominate the top five countries with the highest smartphone penetration.
According to the study, Malaysia has a smartphone penetration of 71-percent; which is only slightly behind the top countries like Hong Kong (at 79-percent) and Taiwan (78-percent). Asians are also more likely to use smartphones for just about everything. The biggest difference is in terms of online shopping, where 22-percent of Asians have used their smartphone to buy something; as opposed to the 5-percent of Americans/Europeans who have done so.
Other insights about Malaysia reveal a highly connected community (or one that is addicted to its smartphones. Some 91-percent of Malaysians will be on their smartphones while watching TV, which is a phenomenon known as multiscreening. Our country is also recorded as being the country with the second largest number of people who access the internet exclusively through their smartphones. This number was beaten only by our northern neighbours in Thailand.
The internet also drives Malaysian buying habits, with 20-percent of respondents having bought something online at some point in their lives. Online information is similarly important for Malaysian consumers; 51-percent do their research online, while a further 48-percent rely on the internet as the first source of product awareness. It may not matter much for the average consumer, but it could mean a lot of retailers trying to promote their products.
Unsurprisingly, it is the Malaysian youth that have greatly embraced smartphones. Some 93-percent of Malaysians from age of 18-25 are smartphone users. What is interesting is that 33-percent of Malaysians above the age of 55 are also smartphone users, showing that the elder generation is just as tech savvy as the young ones.
Admittedly, the sample size for the survey was not too large. Only 1,000 respondents were surveyed for the Connected Consumer research, while the entire Consumer Barometer surveyed some 3,000 individuals. It is difficult to say if this is reflective of the actual smartphone usage in Malaysia, but it does provide a starting point from which the additional data can be extrapolated.
More information can be seen on Google’s Consumer Barometer site.