Breaking News: Malaysia leads the world in Smartphone usage ahead of US & UK

More than three in ten smartphone users in Malaysia exclusively use their devices as the only means of accessing the Internet.

On Device Research has recently published an interesting report on Mobile Malaysia: ahead of the pack. The report helps us to understand the mobile landscape in Malaysia, especially the smartphone trend, and how it implies to mobile commerce and mobile payment.

To our surprise (and possibly yours too), Malaysia fares better in mobile landscape compared to most Southeast Asia countries, and even United States!

Statistics earlier this year indicate 35% smartphone penetration but now, every 1 in 2 adults in Malaysia are smartphone users according to Google’s study.


Another surprising fact is, almost more than three in ten smartphone users in Malaysia exclusively use their devices as the only means of accessing the Internet, according to a new joint study by Google and TNS.

Revealed last month by the search giant and the global market research firm, the survey entitled The Consumer Barometer noted that some 35% of smartphone users surveyed in Malaysia exclusively depend on their smartphone to get Web-connected.

This figure is deemed to be highest in the world, making Malaysia the No 1 country in the world when it comes to smartphone Internet access exclusivity, said Sajith Sivanandan, managing director of Google Malaysia.

“Malaysians love the Internet and their smartphones, and the combination of these two trends is what sets it apart from the world,” he said a media briefing to announce the findings recently.

Sponsored by Google and conducted by TNS, the global survey polled 150,000 interviewees across 56 countries globally and was done in the first quarter of this year.

Aside from this distinction, Sajith said that Malaysia and four other countries in Asia – Singapore, Hong Kong, China and South Korea – are the only nations worldwide to be using their smartphones more than computers as the primary device for accessing the Internet.

According to Sajith, this is an “amazing” distinction because no other countries outside Asia are showing this trend – not even from advanced nations in Europe nor the United States.

“It’s amazing to see Malaysia in the top five global mix. No other countries, including those from western nations, have this distinction. This shows that Asia has truly leapfrogged the West and the notion of the ‘desktop-based’ Internet in favour of a mobile-first landscape.”

Malaysians replace their mobiles every 21 months, more often than other devices.


Healthy ecommerce:

Malaysians love to shop and large daily deal and ecommerce sites have quickly become top destinations online. Ecommerce revenues (excluding services) were $380 million in 2013 and Japanese giant Rakuten who launched in Malaysia less than 2 years ago estimates this to increase to $530 million in 2017.


Some amazing facts about Smartphone usage in Malaysia you might be interested in knowing:

  1. Mobile penetration in Malaysia is higher than Indonesia, United States and world’s average

  2. 77% of mobile subscriptions in Malaysia are pre-paid

  3. Smartphone penetration in Malaysia is now 51%

  4. 42% smartphone users have made a purchase via their phone

  5. Smartphone is most used in the middle of the research phase

  6. 74% play games on their phone

  7. 35% access the Internet only via a smartphone

  8. Smartphone is most used at home, compared to at work and on the go

  9. Smartphone is most used together with music

10.13 million Malaysians are actively using mobile to access social media


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