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Singapore ranks highest smartphone penetration in the world: Deloitte survey

Zafirah Salim | Feb. 17, 2015
In Singapore, almost nine out of 10 respondents have access to a smartphone, the highest globally, according to the survey.

Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous in Singapore, according to a survey by Deloitte's Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), as the findings revealed that almost nine out of 10 respondents have access to a smartphone, the highest globally.

Titled Global Mobile Consumer Survey (GMCS), the annual online survey polled consumers across 22 countries, including Southeast Asia (SEA) countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

According to the survey, Singaporean users top the usage of voice calls, text messages and instant messaging (58 percent), compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts.

For instant messaging, it is found that females are more active users in the four SEA countries. Singapore clocked the highest frequency of usage, with 79 percent of females and 73 percent of males saying they used instant messaging on their smartphones over the past seven days.

In Singapore, instant messaging continued to rise in popularity: Usage increased nine percent on-year in 2014, while text messages declined eight percent. The most common reason for using instant messaging among Singaporeans was because friends and family members were also using it.

In addition, playing games on smartphones emerged as the most popular activity among smartphone users across SEA. Indonesia came in tops, with 73 percent of respondents saying they had played games on their smartphone over the past seven days. Meanwhile, Singapore emerged third, with only 55 per cent of respondents playing smartphone games over the past week.

4G is the new 'normal'

As Internet access becomes more essential, consumers' priorities for connectivity change. 'Reliability of data network' emerged as one of the top possible reasons for changing providers, the survey revealed.

More than half of the Indonesian respondents cited data reliability as the reason for changing their service provider. They were also the most dissatisfied with the speed and the quota or price of 2G and 3G network subscriptions. Indonesian users were also the most likely to continue subscribing to 4G in future, as compared to Thailand and the Philippines.

Meanwhile in Singapore, there was a perceived decline in the quality of the 4G network. Respondents who found the 4G network faster than 3G dropped by almost 30 per cent on-year. At the same time, the number of people who believe there is no difference in speed between 3G and 4G rose by almost four times.

Mobile 'money' apps

According to the survey, using smartphones to check bank balances and make online purchases are the most common mobile payment activities, with more respondents using their smartphones to check bank balances than making online purchases.

Indonesia was top in the usage of mobile "money" apps, with 56 percent of respondents saying they have used their smartphones to check bank balances, and 30 percent saying they have used their devices for online purchases.


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