Adobe Digital Dialogue

Asia Pacific tops the world in growth of smartphone traffic to the internet

Categories: Digital Marketing, Mobile

The unstop­pable momen­tum of smart­phones is almost sin­gle-hand­ed­ly dri­ving the phe­nom­e­nal growth in the num­ber of new inter­net users glob­al­ly. What’s more, the Asia Pacif­ic (APAC) region is respon­si­ble for the lion’s share of that growth, accord­ing to the lat­est Mobile Adobe Dig­i­tal Insights (ADI) Report.

The report, based on the glob­al analy­sis of 1.7 tril­lion vis­its to more than 16,000 web­sites between Jan­u­ary 2014 and Jan­u­ary 2017, found that smart­phones were the source of 500 mil­lion new inter­net users glob­al­ly. India and Chi­na deliv­ered a stag­ger­ing 366.3 mil­lion new con­sumers – 268.9 mil­lion and 97.4 mil­lion respec­tive­ly, while Indone­sia account­ed for 15.7 mil­lion new inter­net vis­i­tors.

Near­ly all the growth in traf­fic to the inter­net can be attrib­uted to smart­phones, accord­ing to senior ADI ana­lyst Trevor Jones. “Desk­top and tablet traf­fic is stag­nant or shrink­ing in the vast major­i­ty of APAC coun­tries,” he says.

Smart­phone traf­fic in India has increased by 290 per cent since 2014, while desk­top traf­fic is down 6 per cent, while tablet traf­fic is steady at 3 per cent growth.

Jones flags Chi­na, India, Malaysia and New Zealand as the coun­tries to watch for big growth in smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion. “These coun­tries are not show­ing any signs of slow­ing down over the course of 2017,” he says.

Mil­lions more smart­phone users com­ing online

While mobile growth in Chi­na has been rel­a­tive­ly slow, Jones observes that “each per­cent­age point brings mil­lions more smart­phone users to the inter­net”. The ADI Report fore­casts share of smart­phone inter­net traf­fic in Chi­na to reach 37 per cent by 2018, up from 18 per cent in 2014.

India, which already has a high share of inter­net smart­phone traf­fic, shows no sign of slow­ing growth. ADI fore­casts a 46 per cent smart­phone share by 2018, up from 18 per cent in 2014.

Malaysia and New Zealand have his­tor­i­cal­ly lagged their APAC coun­ter­parts, but both coun­tries are poised to break 40 per cent smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion by 2018.

The glob­al high points for smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion are in Japan, Mex­i­co and Chile, with each coun­try achiev­ing at least 46 per cent of inter­net traf­fic from smart­phones.

Mobile app usage surges in India

When it comes to app instal­la­tion growth, India leads the pack with a 49 per cent increase since 2014, in con­trast to most coun­tries that have expe­ri­enced a decrease in the use of apps.

“The huge adop­tion rates of smart­phones in devel­op­ing coun­tries are help­ing keep app usage steady for now, but coun­tries like the US and UK have seen app instal­la­tion declines of -9 per cent and -38 per cent respec­tive­ly since 2014,” Jones says. “These trends are like­ly a pre­cur­sor of what will occur in oth­er coun­tries.”

As Asia moves away from the tablet in favour of cheap­er and more con­ve­nient smart­phones, Jones believes their increased adop­tion presents its own chal­lenges for mar­keters.

“Smart­phones are allow­ing mil­lions of peo­ple to access the inter­net that oth­er­wise might nev­er have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty. Devel­op­ing coun­tries have latched on to smart­phones and have caught up and out­paced many afflu­ent coun­tries around the world,” Jones says.

“APAC mar­keters need to under­stand that many con­sumers might nev­er even use a desk­top or a tablet and that the smart­phone expe­ri­ence needs to be smooth enough to keep peo­ple sat­is­fied and engaged.”

Chi­na and India offer the biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties

The Mobile ADI Report pro­vides the most com­pre­hen­sive roadmap of mobile inter­net traf­fic in the world today and Jones has no doubt that most roads lead to India and Chi­na.

“The biggest oppor­tu­ni­ties lie in India and Chi­na, both of which are expe­ri­enc­ing huge growth, yet large amounts of their pop­u­la­tion remain untouched,” he says.

“Every per­cent­age change in share of traf­fic or traf­fic growth has a much big­ger impact in these coun­tries. India and Chi­na still have mil­lions of peo­ple that have yet to access the inter­net, there-fore they are the mar­kets where growth will be the eas­i­est to attain.”