Press Release: Smartphones overtake the ‘normal’ mobile phones in HK

Smartphones overtake the ‘normal’ mobile phones in HK
But mobile ads persuasion still very limited

New research by Ipsos Hong Kong reveals that smartphone  penetration in Hong Kong is now higher than of ‘traditional’ mobile phones, at 59% against 53%. Dallas Li, Associate Director for Ipsos Hong Kong, comments: “As the price of Smartphone s has decreased, and the additional functionalities they provide, especially in terms of communications, become the norm for society, it is normal than smartphones are now becoming mainstream. Still, the speed at which they propagated throughout society is impressive.”

A world of opportunities

Smartphone  apps are undoubtedly one of the main reasons Smartphone  are becoming so popular, especially social media apps. 71% of smartphone owners use social media apps on their phones, followed by games at 46%, and news related apps at 43%. The high quality of smartphone screens and powerful processors made watching online content more practical and interesting too, as 41% of smartphone owners say they use their phones to watch online videos and movies. Cameras are especially popular with women as 32% of them use it, against only 23% for men. In contrast, 27% of men use financial news apps, against only 15% for women.

The smartphone divide

Whether smart or not, we’re all definitively mobile now. 98% of the Hong Kong population now own a mobile phone, and there is no going back. But the rise of smartphones has not been the same in all parts of society. While over 80% of 15-34s have one, only 59% of 35-49s do, and less than a third of the over 50.

Similarly, while 75% of people with a monthly income of 20K HKD or more have a smartphone,  the proportion decreases to just over a half for people with less than 10,000 HKD monthly income, and 29% for those with no income.

Android winner of the Hong Kong battle for smartphone Operating Systems

With 51% of market share for smartphones, Android is the largest player in terms of operating systems in Hong Kong. Apple comes second with 35%.  It is clearly a two horse race in Hong Kong, as the other operating systems, such as Windows, Symbian and Blackberry OS, barely add up to 13%.

Mobile ads still not cutting though

While smartphone users are very engaged with their devices, mobile ads are still not having as much persuasion power (i.e. lead to real purchase through mobile phone) as advertisers would want. Indeed only 2% of smartphone users claim to have clicked on a mobile phone advert and then made a purchase because of this in the past 6 months.