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Singapore has the highest smartphone adoption rate in the world

A Google report shows that countries in Asia are using mobile phones to get online instead of computers.

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Aloysius Low/CNET

If you want to know how smartphones are changing the world, just look at Asia. Users in the region are more likely to use smartphones to get online, rather than computers. Singapore and South Korea boast the highest smartphone adoption in the world, at 85 percent and 80 percent respectively.

In Singapore, it's also not just mobile phones -- an average user has at least 3.3 connected devices, one of the highest in the world. Interestingly, besides surfing the web, Singaporeans mostly use their phones to take photos.

These fascinating numbers are from a recently released report from Google, The Consumer Barometer, which surveyed users from across 46 countries.

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The Consumer Barometer

Interestingly, the report states that it's only in Asia that users are more likely to use a smartphone to get online than a computer. In western countries such as the US (72 percent) and Australia (83 percent), users prefer using a computer to get online.

This makes some sense -- the popularity and abundance of cheap Android handsets from China and local smartphone manufacturers have made the Internet available to a great many users in the region. A computer, on the other hand, may be too expensive, and still lacks built-in Internet connectivity.

Other interesting facts from the report include the Japanese being the most frequent Internet users -- 95 percent of those surveyed in the country surf the web daily. What's more interesting is that 94 percent of users aged 55 years old and above surf the net daily.

Over in Turkey, 92 percent of the population use the Internet for social media, with Argentinian users following close behind at 86 percent. South Korea leads the way in online purchases and research (though the online research trend is quite prevalent throughout Asia).

"In Asia, consumers are living in a mobile-first world that needs new products and services built with mobile in mind, not as an after thought or nice-to-have," writes Simon Kahn, chief marketing officer of Google Asia Pacific.

"There's a great chance here for Asian businesses to lead the world in mobile-first innovation by reacting fast to the revolution that's happened on the streets right outside their office doors."