Monday, July 25, 2011

Smartphone ownership: Japan 4%, US 35%,
Taiwan 50% says Ma II

This is a follow-up of my post yesterday
Smartphone ownership: Japan 4%, US 35%,
Taiwan 50% says Ma [1]

First, let me summarize three pieces of data from [1] and add a new piece of data from Tae Matsumoto to show that there is a phenomenal surge of smartphone ownership in Japan:
  1.  Global Smartphone Penetration by Region 2009-2014  (2010-06-20) predicted a 5% Japanese smartphone ownership in 2011.
  2. Tae Matsumoto (松本多恵) of Nara Women's University (奈良女子大學) in a survey of 125 students in the first two months of 2011, found only five owning smartphones.  This suggests a ownership rate of 4%, similar to the above forecast.
  3. iPhone drives Japan smartphone penetration to over 20% (2010-09-09) observed that
    smartphone penetration jumped to 22.6% in July from 12% a year ago, according to market research company BCN.
  4. Tae Matsumoto did another survey in Nara Women's University on 2011-04-30 with 300 students participating, and found the ownership number jumped from the 4% of two months ago to 13%.
Peter Ro wrote
Taiwanese love to use smartphones
presumably responding to the 30% IDC number or the 50% Ma Ying-Jeou number for Taiwan in my previous post.

To this, I have two comments:
  1. Ma stated  on 2011-02-10, without justification, that the smartphone penetration rate in Taiwan was expected to reach nearly 50% this year.  Less than a month ago, in  Taiwan smartphone penetration set to hit record high: IDC, an IDC senior analyst said
    Smartphone shipments in Taiwan, which accounted for between 21 percent and 22 percent of total mobile phone shipments last year, will increase to between 29 percent and 30 percent this year
    That implied that smartphone ownership is less than 30%.  Ma should tell us why his number 50% is so at odds with IDC's number, and completely out of line with any other prevailing forecasts. 
  2. All the numbers we quoted are about smartphone ownership and market penetration, not about usage. Ownership and market penetration are different from usage.  For example, many Taiwanese own iPhones, but they use them as expensive cell phones to feel good, to show off, or to make a statement about their social status.  Few understands how a smartphone differs from dumb phones and few realizes that a smartphone is a powerful computer.  It is a rare Taiwanese smartphone owner who knows how to tether or even what it means.  I have even helped many to turn on their GPS.   See Two things to do in 2011: Use smartphone and dump Microsoft for more.  Taiwanese leave their smartphones' tremendous power untapped just as they leave their computers' tremendous power untapped.  This is as if I own the empire state building, but decide to use just one room on the first floor, and nowhere else.  Why?  Because I don't want to learn to use other rooms.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really surprise that Taiwan has a high rate of smartphone users rather than USA and China but in total there is almost 80% of people start using smartphones.