Earlier today, ConsumerLab South East Asia and Oceania Afrizal Abdul Rahim, and President and Country Manager of Ericsson Philippines Elie Hanna shared with us the results of the worldwide study on mobile communications conducted by Ericsson ConsumerLab.
According to ConsumerLab’s analysis in the Philippines, smartphone and tablet penetration are forecast to increase by 6% and 7%, respectively, by the end of the year. “The numbers look promising in the Philippines, and they can only get better,” said Rahim.
ConsumerLab conducted face-to-face interviews with 500 respondents of ages 16-60 in Metro Manila. The predictions of future markets are based on the consumers’ expressed interests.
According to the research, among the emerging ICT sector in Southeast Asia—which includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam—the Philippines has the highest percentage of smartphone penetration with 29%. The study predicts that it can even increase to up to 35% despite the current dominance of the use of non-smartphones (55%) in the country.
ConsumerLab reports that the top three factors that drive consumers in the Philippines to purchase and use smartphones are the following:
- The desire to upgrade one’s current device
- Internet connectivity
Another key factor, according to the research results, is the affordability of a smartphone as compared to a laptop or a tablet.
Internet browsing, social networking, and instant messaging are reported to be the top three mobile phone activities next to voice calls and SMS.
In terms of tablet penetration, the Philippines holds the greatest current market in the said sector with 6%, and is also forecast to increase by 7% by end 2012. The key drivers for tablet purchase and usage in the country are:
- Internet connectivity
- Access to features and apps
Interestingly, peer pressure is also a key factor in purchasing and using a tablet. 21% of the respondents say that they buy and use tablets because “everyone else has one.”
Additionally, Rahim shared some app usage figures in the country. The ConsumerLab study shows that the top three classifications of apps that are downloaded in the Philippines are gaming, TV/video, and entertainment. It’s also interesting to note that gaming apps are very dominant in the Philippine market.
Even if worldwide smartphone usage is forecast to outnumber PC usage by 2017, PCs still dominate in terms of data consumption. This, accordingly, poses a challenge to telecommunications companies offering data packages for mobile devices. Rahim claims that, based on the results, the data packages in the country must be relevant, flexible, easy to use, and affordable.
Rahim stresses that in the Philippines, prepaid users outnumber postpaid users because prepaid packages are more affordable than postpaid packages and are given more publicity. He claims that one solution to encourage more people to use mobile data is to offer more innovative and flexible mobile data packages that cater to the Filipinos’ prepaid lifestyle just to attract more subscribers. “You have to introduce smaller packages to cater to the different needs of the consumers,” said Rahim.