In a new research released by Google at the Mobile First World event in Taipei on Tuesday, Asia is now leading the world in smartphone usage and engagement, along with online shopping and various other viewing behaviours.
According to the research called "the Consumer Barometer", Singapore was reported to be the highest in the world in terms of smartphone penetration, at a whopping 85 per cent (up from 72 per cent recorded last year). It was also revealed that smartphones are far more popular than computers, with 60 per cent of Singaporeans using the device.
"It's amazing to see Singapore in the global #1 spot. This is a massive wake up call to any business in Singapore without a mobile-optimised site or app. In 2014, this is no longer a viable approach - you're effectively slamming your shop door in the face of your customers.
"88 per cent of Singaporeans say they experienced problems when accessing websites on their phones, so clearly there's a lot more work to be done. It's vital for every business to think mobile-first," says Julian Persaud, Managing Director of Google Southeast Asia.
Many countries in the Asia Pacific region are not far behind, with Korea coming in second at 80 per cent while many countries are over the 50 per cent mark. Even countries that were previously lagging behind have shown significant growth in the past year, with Vietnam hitting 36 per cent (up from 20 per cent last year).
The research also noted a new trend across Asia that found smartphone adoption being higher than the adoption of computers. Countries like Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Korea have all shown smartphones having greater adoption rate than computers. What is startling about this is that no other countries outside Asia are showing this trend.
Besides high smartphone adoption in Asia, many users in the Southeast Asia region reportedly use mobile as the only connected device they own. In Malaysia alone, it was found that over a third of users surveyed (35 per cent) said that a phone was the only connected device for going online. In Vietnam, it's almost a quarter of its users (24 per cent) while Singapore is at 16 per cent and, South Korea and Hong Kong are both at 14 per cent.
The survey has also revealed how much Singaporeans love their digital gadgets, with reportedly nearly 8 out of 10 Singaporeans using 2 or more connected devices, putting Singapore the 4th highest in the world when it comes to the multi-screen trend.