Apple, Samsung searches sizzle as new smartphones launch
The proverbial battle for the hearts and minds of Hong Kong's tech-savvy consumers between Apple and rival Samsung Electronics played out online months before the two companies released their new smartphones in the city.
In a report yesterday, business services group Experian said online search activity around Apple's iPhone 5 surged over the past three months to no one's surprise in its survey of more than 1.8 million local internet users.
But Experian said its survey also showed that "while Apple is a much-loved brand, this city of gadget lovers has also turned its affections to competitive offerings - namely, the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II".
The iPhone 5, Apple's redesigned smartphone, was introduced in the United States on September 12 and released with much fanfare in Hong Kong about a week later. The Galaxy Note II, Samsung's updated smartphone-media tablet hybrid, was launched in Hong Kong yesterday. The Galaxy S III was released earlier in June.
All three devices support high-speed 4G mobile networks, which provide theoretical online download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second. The fastest 3G networks run up to 42Mbps.
Before the iPhone 5 launch, online searches for the Galaxy S III led all queries for smartphones. These accounted for 0.0436 per cent of all the internet traffic in Hong Kong that Experian surveyed in the week that ended July 7. By comparison, local online searches for the iPhone 5 accounted for 0.0131 per cent of all internet traffic in the same period. The searches for the iPhone 5 rose steadily over the next 10 weeks in the build-up to its September 12 launch, according to Experian. It said there was a sharp increase of 183 per cent in search traffic for the iPhone 5 in the week that ended September 8.
In the week that ended September 22, searches for the iPhone 5 accounted for 0.062 per cent of all queries among the internet users in Experian's survey. That finally beat searches for the Galaxy S III, which made up 0.020 per cent of all online traffic during the same period.
Online queries for the Galaxy Note II, meanwhile, rose 137 per cent from the week ended August 25 to the week ended September 22, when these accounted for 0.016 per cent of the internet searches covered by Experian.