Asia is the leader in the world for smartphone usage and engagement, and Singapore is at the top of the pack. According to a global study released by Google, Singapore is now the number one smartphone adopter in the world at 85 per cent, outdoing South Korea at 80 per cent.

The research released by Google called the Consumer Barometer, sought to provide insights into web consumption across 46 countries this year.

According to Google, the research conducted by market research company TNS is based on 150,000 interviews and covered device usage and online access, how people shop and watch, and the role of digital in the path-to-purchase.

It also revealed that more Asians use their smartphones to access the internet than desktop computers.

In a blogpost on Oct 28, Mr Simon Kahn, Google Asia Pacific’s Chief Marketing Officer said this “mobile-first” trend was prevalent across Asia, especially Southeast Asia where “smartphone adoption has overtaken computer adoption for the first time in the past year”. “The trend is true in countries of all sizes and stages of economic development: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, not to mention Hong Kong and China.”

The research also found that Asian countries have the highest rate of internet users who go online exclusively using a smartphone. No countries outside Asia displayed this trend. Malaysia came out tops in this category, with 35 per cent of consumers accessing the internet only through their smartphone.

Julian Persaud, managing director of Google Southeast Asia commented: “It’s amazing to see Singapore in the global number one spot. This is a massive wake up call to any business in Singapore without a mobile ­optimised site or app.”

He added: “88 per cent of Singaporeans say they experienced problems when accessing websites on their phones, so clearly there’s a lot more work to be done. It’s vital for every business to think mobile­first.”

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