JAKARTA - Like a 21st century version of Inspector Gadget, tech-savvy Indonesians increasingly leave home with an assemblage of smartphones and tablets.
Multi-device ownership, observers say, has transformed habits surrounding the use of each gadget, with smartphones designated for quick information updates and tablets for a more engaging interaction with content.
A study presented by Yahoo! and Mindshare shows that by 2017, there would be as many as 103.7 million smartphone owners, a 151 per cent increase compared to numbers estimated for 2013. Meanwhile, the number of tablet owners would hit 16.2 million in the next four years: 88 per cent higher than this year.
The study also shows that 8 per cent of smartphone users also have a tablet, with 16 per cent of smartphone users owning a tablet and a personal computer, such as a desktop or laptop.
The study is congruous with Nielsen data showing that tablet penetration in Indonesia hit 5 per cent in 2013 compared to 1 per cent just a year earlier. Meanwhile, current smartphone penetration is 23 per cent.
Mindshare leader for business planning in Asia-Pacific, Deepika Nikhilender, said people utilized smartphones for content "snacking" - instant communication via mobile messaging applications and quick information updates on social networking sites.
"This is why mobile phone usage is fairly constant throughout the day," she said.
Yahoo! and Mindshare showed that on average 8.7 types of activities were performed daily on smartphones, with the top three being communication, entertainment and information gathering.
Meanwhile, people use tablets for experiences such as watching videos online.
"This is why tablet usage surges between 8 p.m. and midnight because the key activity people engage with on their mobile device is entertainment," she said, adding that the tablet has become "the main screen" even when the television was switched on.
Comparatively, people, on average, undertake 3.7 types of activity on tablets, with the most common activities being entertainment, communication and information gathering.
Nikhilender added that entertainment and communication applications (apps) were the most downloaded by Indonesians.
Nielsen's survey on the top 10 apps shows that chat apps have attained a 94 per cent reach among smartphone users, followed by search (71 per cent) and social networking (64 per cent). The most popular chat app is WhatsApp with a reach of 58 per cent, followed by BlackBerry Messenger at 41 per cent.
Nikhilender added that news was still the leading source of information consumed through smart devices. The five most sought after news categories were national, international, breaking and celebrity.
"For media brands, content is what pulls consumers," she said.
She added that the media could also capitalise on the potential for advertisers to use space on their online content to reach users.
However, she noted, content creators in Indonesia had yet to fully adapt content for mobile platforms and maximize on interactively and rich-media elements, such as embedded videos.
"If you look at advanced markets like the US, content has become platform agnostic. Publishers optimise their content for mobile and tablets so that the consumer can access content anytime, anywhere," she said.