Singapore smartphone and tablet penetration on the rise; app usage increasing

Research data from 2013 shows that among daily Internet users, Singapore smartphone penetration has increased from 74 percent in 2012 to 78 percent in 2013 while tablet penetration has increased from 31% in 2012 to 42% in 2013.

A noticeable change is the jump in apps usage from 70% in 2012 to 75% in 2013, which ranks Singapore fifth in apps usage amongst the 43 countries included in this years’ analysis.  In 2012, Singapore was ranked as number 9. 

At the same time, there is an increase in the usage of instant messaging, social networks, and video among those who are smartphone users. “If we look at comparable data for other countries, we can say that Singaporeans tend to make smarter use of their smartphones – respondents surveyed said they used their smartphone for apps, to send and receive instant messages, view video clips, and keep up with friends in their social networks,” Afrizal Abdul Rahim, Ericsson ConsumerLab head for Southeast Asia and Oceania, revealed.  The top three reasons for downloading apps among Singaporeans are to perform specific tasks/ functions, to keep in touch with people more easily and to access content on-the-go.  “Based on this we can conclude that Singaporeans are favoring utility, communication and content based-apps.”

Smartphone penetration increased by 4% from 2012 to 2013. “Singapore started from a very high base in 2012 with 74% smartphone penetration – the highest that was registered among all surveyed countries last year.  Even as ownership already registered a 4% increase to 78% for 2013, an additional 5% of the respondents surveyed indicated that they would buy a smartphone in the next six months.”  Among the top reasons given by the respondents on their intent to purchase a smartphone included to upgrade their device, to access relevant apps and to surf the Internet.   

Among daily internet users, tablet penetration on the other hand increased by 11% from 2012 to 2013.  “If we only look at the Asian countries that were surveyed for this study, we can see that Singapore retained its position at number two, while Hong Kong retained the top spot with a 55% penetration rate for tablets.”    

The findings on smartphone penetration for Singapore are aligned with Ericsson’s global findings in its June 2013 Mobility Report.  “Based on the data that we gathered from the networks that we manage around the world, we now forecast an even stronger uptake of smartphones. Smartphone subscriptions in 2018 are now forecast to reach 4.5 billion1, compared to our previous (Nov 2012) forecast of 3.3 billion in 2018. This is not least due to a notable increase in the number of smartphone subscriptions in APAC and MEA regions, as subscribers switch their basic phone subscriptions into smartphone subscriptions,” Afrizal explained.

Globally, Ericsson estimates that total smartphone subscriptions reached 1.2 billion at the end of 2012 and are expected to reach 4.5 billion in 2018. Afrizal further revealed that “Around 50% of all mobile phones sold in Q1 2013 were smartphones, compared to around 40% for the full year in 2012.”