Japan 'downright slow' at adopting new technologies

Research firm McKinsey published an interesting report recently summarizing a survey that showed the digital habits of 5000 people across eight countries.

The findings suggest that the perception of Japanese consumers as ones who are in love with the latests gadgets may not be an accurate one.

When asked about tablet computers, MicKinsey says that only four per cent of consumers surveyed had one already, far lower than the nine per cent of respondents from neighboring Korea.

How many intend to buy a tablet soon? Only three per cent of Japanese surveyed say they probably would, which pales in comparison to 18 per cent of Koreans and 9 per cent of Americans.

The report also says that less than one in eight in the Japan sample has a smartphone, far less than four in ten Americans, and a third of British, Spanish, and Korean respondents.

The report asserts that one reason for this is that Japanese media companies are more protective about free content, with limited streaming media options available.

Japanese respondents watch a lot of TV (205 minutes on average) but out of this sample Japan had the highest ratio watched on conventional TV, as opposed to video on demand, or over-the-top TV.

Japanese respondents also were the least likely to have visited a social networking site among all nations surveyed, at a mere 30 per cent.

Compare that with 70 per cent of respondents in Korea, and 67 per cent of respondents in the US.

McKinsey concludes by invoking sci-fi writer William Gibson: "The Japanese seem to the rest of us to live several measurable clicks down the time line," science-fiction writer William Gibson wrote in 2001. "The Japanese are the ultimate Early Adaptors." The results of our research suggest that this is no longer the case. Not only are the Japanese no longer the earliest adaptors, they are downright slow."