The tablet computer and smartphone markets are set to grow exponentially by mid-2012, with tablet ownership projected to reach 75% of digital consumers from 18% currently, and smartphones rising to 89% from 48%, according to a study by market research firm Nielsen.
“The Internet has now become an essential tool and is truly ingrained in many everyday lives and activities. Close to half of citizens worldwide use laptops to surf the Internet, but the availability of Internet-connected mobile devices have increased their online dependency.
“For instance, digital consumers engage in five hours of online activities via their mobile phone, just slightly less time spent compared to playing online games on a personal computer,” Nielsen director of customised research, client services Luca Griseri told reporters at a media briefing for the Digital Consumer Report 2011.
Nielsen said more than half of digital consumers in the country use the Internet on a daily basis, and “connecting with people” was cited by 68% as their main reason for going online. Although Nielsen's data showed desktop PCs and laptops were still the dominant devices for accessing the Internet, tablets and smartphones have the most room for growth. Presently, only 3% and 1% of consumers frequently used mobile phones and tablets respectively to access the Internet.
Moreover, Internet-capable devices have roused users' propensity for multi-tasking. Nielsen found that over two-thirds of digital consumers claimed they watched television and browsed the Internet simultaneously.
While computers are still the preferred device for simultaneous usage, one out of 10 of Nielsen's survey participants said they watched television and used the Internet at the same time on their mobile phones, and 4% do so via their tablets and eBook readers.
Griseri said we ares on the right path toward becoming a digital economy by 2020, but added that a successful digital transformation will require the Government and telco players to cooperate and ensure the country has sufficient infrastructure and network capacity.